And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. -Luke 22:31, 32 (KJV)
Throughout history bread has been a staple of numerous cultures. Mankind long ago discovered wheat, which can be harvested and refined into flour, is a valued part of daily nutrition. Today we purchase our flour already ground and ready for use. The Scripture shows how Jesus used the refining and sifting process of wheat to illustrate how vulnerable His disciples were to the attacks of the devil. The Lord warned Simon Peter how the devil was attempting to sift him like wheat. The evil one’s desire was to render Peter so broken and emotionally scattered that he would be powerless to stop any spiritual attacks on his life. The devil would then be able to mold, push, and knock Peter around any way he saw fit. Fortunately for Peter, Jesus would not give up on him, even though Peter denied the Lord three times.
Understand the devil is taking the same approach with us even today. He still seeks to slip alongside us and begin a subtle process of sifting and tearing us down. The devil knows what he is doing when he attacks, for he likes to hit us at our weakest moments in our most vulnerable areas. His ultimate goal is to render us useless for God’s service. Sadly, many people fall victim to his sifting every day. They allow themselves to be caught up in his lies, schemes, and temptations.
When you feel discouraged, sorrowful, and of little use in God’s kingdom know the devil is attacking you. He is trying to sift you like wheat so you will be ineffective for Christ. Resist him at all costs. Stand firm and do not surrender, for the Lord is greater and stronger than any attack of the devil. Peter was a disciple of Jesus, a trusted worker in Jesus’ earthly ministry, and he went on to become a leader in the early church. Yet he was every bit as susceptible to temptation and the attacks of the devil as we are today. Like Peter, we have Christ on our side and He will not give up on us.
The other morning I woke up early as usual for my daily prayer and Bible reading time, yet I felt overwhelmed and exhausted. My prayer time was distracted by all I was facing. Rather than surrender to those dark feelings I gave them over the Lord. I made a conscious decision by the power of the Holy Spirit to walk throughout the day in spiritual victory rather than defeat. You know something? Christ honored my prayer and desire to be faithful, and as the day went on so did the power of Christ increase in my life.
Make a decision today to walk in spiritual victory. Do not submit to the devil’s schemes, but instead be led by the Spirit of God. Victory in Jesus is ours!