Wednesday, 9 May 2018
Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat – Luke 22:31.
This is an intriguing read. Satan was granted permission to test the disciples’ faith. To sift means to separate wheat from chaff. In other words to separate the good from the bad. So the Lord knows how to deal with the bad apples among His flock. If it’s God who allows a period of sifting so that it might bring a separation, we’d do well to cooperate with Him by not forcing to hold on what is to be removed from us. Separating from people we love and perhaps have formed special bonds with is not easy, at all. But what God does or has permitted He will not relent from it. Testing just like separation is painful but a necessary intervention to remove the weeds of contamination.
The sifting, separation or weeding process is so thorough that even Peter had the Lord not prayed for him would have not survived it. It’s the same with us Jesus still prays for us to survive the tests of our faith. Tests come to promote God’s people to the next level. They are the true measure of our spiritual health and progress. Without them we’d plateau, stale and die in one place without ever moving on. The disciples couldn’t progress to the next phase of ministry until they were tested – emptied and turned upside down – so to speak.
The Lord charged Peter to strengthen and build up the faith of his brothers once he repented and turned back to Him. Tests come to improve us, to make us better and stronger. Peter had to go through this test before he could be stronger and able to assist his fellow brothers in Christ. We’re really not able to help anyone and to do much if we ourselves aren’t growing in the Lord. God permits tests to refine us and it’s for our own good. Peter came out of the test better, stronger and wiser. Testing removes the chaff and prunes us to be more fruitful. It improves our faith!