Sifted like Wheat
A verse really caught my eye this morning. Luke 22:31-32. The Lord tells Simon (aka Peter) that Satan has demanded permission to sift him like wheat. But then Jesus responds and says He has prayed for him; that his faith would not fail and that when he turned again he would strengthen his brothers. Peter's response was the usual, "I can and I will stand!" As I pondered this, I realized what needed to be sifted out of Peter was perceived natural ability, unbridled passion, and a front and center attitude of Lord, I would never. But bringing it home, that is me many times. The Lord saw the endgame with Peter - and He sees with me!
I looked up the process of sifting wheat. First it is pounded to separate the wheat from the chaff. Then, when manually done, both are thrown in the air and as the wind comes the chaff that has no weight simply blows away and the weightier wheat settles back down into a dish. Peter had no better advocate than the Lord Himself and I have the same Lord. However, transformation requires the separation. The Word (the Bible) and spending time in it, divides rightly the wheat from the chaff. I can "grow," so to speak, but unless I’m willing to submit to sifting and recognize the "I can and I will" must be replaced with humble surrender of "I can’t but He will!" - I fight His instruments. I run from the sifting machine of transformation many times. But it’s those moments after complete exhaustion and dispare - like Peter had - where I say, "I give Lord. I don’t know how." I’m stressed to the max, and my head falls face down in tears of surrender. At that juncture, just a little more chaff is removed and the weight of the wheat that remains grounds our stand in Him.
Simon Peter trusted in himself - we know there was no good end. But I’m so glad Jesus saw the end for Him and sees it for me, too. And He will do what it takes to complete the work. This made me cry!