Sifting Before Service
My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. Proverbs 3:11, 12
Mention sifting to a first-century Jew and he immediately gets an image, much like how we think of downloading in our age of digital technology. Jesus spins the term sifting into the spiritual process Peter experienced at the hands of Satan.
Sifting is synonymous with elimination. What Peter could not recognize in himself, God eliminated. He allowed Peter to be selected and exposed to trial and testing that would separate and eliminate his ego from his service for Christ. It would deconstruct the old Peter and he would rise up a new man with new character. There is no longer a place for darkness to dwell in his life. It has been replaced with the light of the character of Christ Himself.
So, what’s going on inside of you that is more critical to victory in the bigger fight than whatever words you’re saying? Look at Peter and then look at yourself. If you want to become an easy mark for Satan simply deny, excuse, or rationalize this.
God has a deep delight when a believer cooperates with Him in knocking sin, pride, and presumption down on a regular basis and keeps darkness on the run. It requires an inner discipline and diligent management. You must continually explore the dark spaces of your heart, look at them clearly, and resolve to deal with them dramatically. We are all plagued with many issues and it’s hard to concentrate on all of them. Let’s try to focus on the one that the Holy Spirit puts before us.
Father, just like Peter, you see my needs. Thank you for bringing them to my attention.