Karen M. Jantzi, CPC
And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you that he may sift you as wheat”
Today, as I was taking Communion and reading in Luke 22, after the Lord talks about taking the bread and the wine in remembrance of Him, He begins to get His disciples ready for his impending death.
He tells Simon that Satan as “asked to sift him as wheat”. Now, we don’t usually think of Satan being in the presence of God, but this is the only place that he could ask to sift Simon Peter. So, it appears that Satan is coming before God and asking permission to try Simon Peter. Peter assures Jesus that nothing could make him fall to temptation, but Jesus goes on to say that he will indeed fall and deny Him.
This made me think about the courts of heaven that have to be taking place on a daily basis for Satan to come before God and ask for permission to sift Peter. Let’s look at what “sift” means.
Verb (used with object)
1. To separate and retain the coarse parts of (flour, ashes, etc) with as a sieve
2. To scatter or sprinkle through or by means of a sieve
3. To separate by or as if by a sieve
4. To examine closely
5. To question closely
With this definition, we see Satan was asking to look at Simon Peter and see what he was truly made of. Obviously, God did not give Satan permission to hurt or destroy Simon Peter, but he did allow the sin that was in his heart to come out. And, it did. When Jesus was taken by the Romans, Peter denied Him three times. But, after doing so, his heart was broken and he confessed his sin and made himself right with God.
Could it be that your trials have come about as Satan has come in the courts of heaven to ask for YOU to be sifted? To see what you are truly made of? I think it’s highly possible. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. I believe the courts of heaven are in operation according to what the Word says in Revelation even now.
So what will it be with you? Will you stand true to the Lord when examined or will you fold to your flesh as Peter did? I believe that is a choice we must all make.
The winds of trial seem to be everywhere. How will the church stand up? At this point, it doesn’t seem to be standing too strong. But, our fate is not up to a “group”. It’s up to each of us as individuals. We make the choice to stand for Christ. To be strong and filled with faith in the face of trials and pain whether anyone else does or not. Thousands are making this stand today in the Middle East and its costing them their lives. I dare say if this were to take place in America, the outcome would be different. We must pray and be bold as we share the truth about coming to Christ so that more will come to Him and be saved from eternal death.
In the same chapter of Luke, the word says Jesus was in agony. Yes, he feels and knows our pain. He is not without understanding of the trial you face today. But, look what is says He did. It says in verse 44, “And being in agony, He PRAYED more earnestly………”
Here is our answer. It’s found in the example Jesus left us. PRAYER! Our response to great trials, suffering and pain, needs to be more prayer! If Jesus needed it, we surely need it. And it says God sent an angel to “strengthen” him. I’m not sure what the angel did to bring that to Jesus, but I am surely going to pray the same from my Heavenly Father in my own trials.
Today, no matter what you face, no matter how deep and difficult the struggle, here is your answer! KEEP PRAYING! NEVER STOP! Jesus asked in verse 42 if it was truly God’s will for Him to go to the cross. He asked. We can ask. We can search God as to if this trial is of Him. Jesus did. He asked His Father if this cross might be taken away. But, the key and our example to follow, is His response to His Father..........“nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done”.
Once again, we see SURRENDER is what God asks of us. Trusting in His will for our lives, even if the present looks dim. Keep your wits about you. Stand in prayer. Keep surrendering to Him. He loves you! He will not forsake you. I urge us all to take this position as we walk through trials and trust that God will take us through it and in the end we will see His will.
Praying for you today as you go to Him. Jesus is our defender in the courts today. He was not there when Satan came for Peter, but TODAY, He is our attorney in the courts of heaven. His blood covers our sin and He is crying out, “She is blameless as she is covered by MY blood and forgiven. Her sin is erased! She may go free”
Karen Jantzi, CPC/CMEC is the Founding President of Treasured Woman and the CEO of HAVEN Coaching and Consulting. She has a passion for helping women find a permanent sense of self-worth and value through living in the authority and love of Jesus Christ in their lives. She has been a business owner and executive for over 20 years and enjoys helping women bring life to their dreams of owning a business. As an author, blogger and speaker, Karen shares her life changing story with women across the nation with the hope that they too will turn to Christ and live a life they treasure. Karen lives with her husband, is the mother of 5 and enjoys life on the Yough River not too far outside of Pittsburgh. You may contact her at 407-687-5988 or firstname.lastname@example.org