Wednesday, February 16

Sifted Wheat

"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." 
- Luke 22:31-32

I am in the middle of leading my first women's bible study with a group of women I share life with. We are studying When Godly People to Ungodly Things by the fabulous Beth Moore. I was super excited about doing this study. I have heard what an amazing ministry it is, and how so many peoples lives were changed by her words, wisdom and the biblical truth of the enemy in the study. I know for sure that this study is for me right now in this season of my life. It has been brought to me by God, I know it has. I don't think it is a coincidence that our church is going through a sermon series right now called Hijacked: God Creates:Satan Twists, either. The enemy's schemes are tricky, smart, invading and they catch you totally off guard. The scripture says that ones who are at risk of falling are those who are standing firm. We have to be so careful. The enemy is exactly what scripture calls him out to be, a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8) I can just picture him crouching around my life, like a lion out in the wilderness does to his unsuspecting prey. He is prowling around waiting for a weak spot in my walls, and once he detects the tiniest crack or hint of distraction he goes in for the kill. 
Last week on the last day of our homework Beth started the study with a scripture that I cannot seem to shake. There is a particular part that has stuck with me and keeps coming up.
"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat....."
"Sift you as wheat...."
That phrase has stuck with me for over a week. 

Let me Rewind a bit....

For the last 6 months I have found myself in this battle with, well.... myself.  I have gone through seasons of being angry all the time, being jealous and envious of the ones in my life, resentful and full of hurt, I have been emotional. You get the picture. I have been kind of like a ticking time bomb.... never knowing what would set me off....

Don't get me wrong I do have really great days. I have more great days then I do bad, but those bad ones.... man they are bad. I have had more joy in the last 6 months and more contentment then I have had. I know the above completely contradicts what I just wrote but it is true. And it is very hard to explain. 

So this is where I am at, or where I have been at for the last couple of months. I have been walking around with this heaviness. I haven't been able to detect where it is stemming from, but it is there and it is real. As I began this study the feeling began to get heavier and harder to just "deal" with. It's like I am being shaken form the inside out.  The first few homework sessions have been on Satan, how he works, who he is and how to detect his schemes before you are devoured. The more I have been learning, I have been more restless and miserable I have been feeling. I have been so frustrated trying to figure out what the heck is going on with me. Am I depressed? Am I having anxiety? Then I read this scripture. Let me share it again....

"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."
 - Luke 22:31-32

I did a lot little research on sifting wheat so I could grasp the whole concept and context of Christ's words. I discovered that in ancient Israel sifting the wheat was the last step before the harvest. Before you sift the wheat you gather it together,  then the chaff/husk is winnowed (Winnow: separate (out)dividesegregate,sort out, filter outisolatenarrow downremoveget rid of.) Then the wheat is sifted or put through a sieve (strainer). During the sifting all of the impurities are removed from the wheat. Rocks, dirt, trash, bugs etc. 

So clearly, in this passage, Simon was already identified as wheat not the chaff/husk that is thrown out during the Winnowing. He was a devout follower. He loved Christ and walked with him. But he needed to be sifted. And he was sifted. If he wasn't sifted the Simon would have never left Peter. He came out stronger, he triumphed over Satan.

I have come to the conclusion that I am like wheat that is being sifted. There are things that need to be sifted from me before God can use me for his kingdom and to the full potential he has planned for me. I need to be sifted of seeking man's approval and not seeking Gods. The only true and pure approval comes from God not man. I tend to find my self worth though what people think about me. And whether or not they need me or if I am important to them. I focus all of my attention on seeking fulfillment from man and not God alone. All of the hurt from not getting that approval and feeling rejected creates sin in my life. It creates trash. This trash has been stuffed way down below my foundation (God). The more I pursue him the more this trash is being stirred and brought to the surface. That is where the sifting comes in. When all the junk is gathered and brought to the surface. The sifting process it to purify us and sanctify us. When the wheat is sifted, dirt, trash and all things impure to the wheat fall to the ground. They are removed. When we are sifted all of our funk and trash falls to the ground. The junk from our flesh is sifted out, removed. I pray that Christ prays for me the way he did Simon, that my faith will not fail but that I will stand firm and I will come out stronger. I dont want the funk from the world and my flesh to remain with me. I too want to be sifted and made pure.

1 comment:

  1. Jenna, your blog today blessed me SO much! I will be praying for you in this season of sifting :D

    alli todd


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