Sifted

4 Apr

sifted.jpg

It’s not your typical word tattoo. Why not “love, family, grace, hope, faith, freedom, forgiven?” I contemplated a lot of words honestly, but it absolutely had to be “SIFTED” and if you’ll hang with me for a short story, I’m going to explain why.

Let’s take a look at Luke 22:31-34 “’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.’ But he replied, ‘Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.’”

I could literally write an entire book on this tiny passage of Scripture (and I might some day) – there is a LOT here to unpack. But I mainly wanted to point out that Satan HAS to ASK PERMISSION to tempt/sift us, and also that he goes hard after CHRISTIANS, not simply the unbelieving.

Before I share more about this passage – I first want to acknowledge that it’s easy to think of “sifting” as someone taking pretty white flour and gently sifting it through a little metal mesh for cookies. This is not what sifting wheat looked like. It was a very violent process. It was a threshing, that closely resembles thrashing, as the wheat is beat and torn to remove the worthless stalk to preserve the valuable grain.

Looking back at these verses, what I truly love is that Simon already had his name changed to Peter and with that change came the promise that God was going to build His church on the rock and planned to use Peter in this process. God knew when he changed Simon’s name to Peter he was going to deny him, not once, but three times in the future. The same is true for us. God doesn’t choose us knowing we’ll be perfect from that moment forward, He chooses us even when He knows more sifting is yet to come.

What’s even more beautiful is that Jesus speaks right into Peter, “I have prayed for you.” and then goes on to give him the reason he’s allowing the sifting – right up front! WHEN YOU TURN BACK (acknowledging He knows Peter is going to stumble – but telling him, come back, what you’re about to do isn’t strong enough to break my love for you – and it can’t separate me from you.) STRENGTHEN YOUR BROTHERS. Use it Peter. Let the sifting get rid of what’s holding you back, what’s making you doubt, what’s promising to fill you but can’t follow through, what temporarily feels like safety & security. Let that harsh, violent, painful sifting process, remove the impurities and worthlessness and refine you to perfect grain, and then Go – GO, and strengthen your brothers who are facing Satan’s deception and confusion.

Whether you’re in a pile of rubble because Satan attacked you and you remain innocent, upright, blameless (like Job) or whether you’re broken and sobbing in a pile of ashes because you did or said things you thought you’d never, ever possibly do in the sifting and you’re 100% guilty (like Peter) – it’s ok. You’re not the only one being attacked and you’re also not undesirable to the Father, God knew you’d be where you are, Christ is praying for you, AND, His arms are wide open for you to come to Him and let Him heal all your broken pieces. He delights in making beauty from ashes.

Today just may be the day to recognize SATAN asked to sift you. And to admit (even if just to yourself), it was worse than you wanted anyone to know. It was brutal and you barely survived, thrashing the whole way. If that’s you, I encourage you to leave the worthless stalk behind and claim victory. The siftING is not the end. The wheat that is SIFTED is a beautiful grain ready to be used to strengthen others.

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2 Responses to “Sifted”

  1. Elizabeth April 6, 2016 at 10:39 am #

    Kayla, Thank you so much for helping me see this passage in a whole new light. How encouraging, to think that God loves us and desires to use us to strengthen other Christians, even when he knows we will fail, sometimes seriouly, to keep his perfect standards. I felt lighter just thinking about this! It’s true that my failings have given me much more empathy for others and have humbled me more than anything else could. I believe Peters mistakes were included in scripture mainly to encourage us, and I’m so grateful for the Father’s love and forgiveness! Please keep writing, I love your posts!

    • Kayla Gulick April 6, 2016 at 10:55 am #

      I’m so glad this spoke to you. I’ve found it’s really hard to accept my failures but I agree totally, they have given me more empathy, compassion and understanding for others than anything else could have. Love ya friend!

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