Sifted? Remember Jesus is PRE-SIFTED… Praising Rumble Strip Sifting, 01NOV
Classic timing, I was about to trash the empty bag of flour when the Word spoke to me thru the words… PRE-SIFTED. This flour was pre-sifted. So was Jesus.
Lately the term “SIFTED” has crossed my mind, as in Luke 22 scriptures about the devil’s temptations. I know that each of us have been sifted in the past – and clearly I was obviously sifted last night as my arrogance of having everything under control was severely jolted awake by God’s GRACE, God’s FORGIVENESS, God’s SAVE (More on that later)…
Jesus told Peter that he (and we collectively as disciples) are being sifted by the devil. That the devil actually asks God for permission to sift us like wheat, see where the chunks of our faith are strong, how the good seeds are mixed amongst the chaff…. Peter, like Job (like us, like me), was tested – and BOTH God and the devil watched as things played out. After Peter was sifted, denying Jesus three times, he received reconciliation by none other than Jesus Himself. In a warning ahead of time, on that Last Supper night, Jesus commanded Peter to strengthen his brothers and sisters when eventually he did reconcile… Jesus saw the sifting coming for Peter – He knows that we also will be tested – Jesus prays for us.
The empty flour bag today reminded me that we are to become empty of our own will and instead be filled with God’s will for us. So within me, and within you, is Jesus’s Word PRE-SIFTED and encapsulated like seeds until all gets sifted out… PRE-sifting means that Jesus Himself went thru hardships on our behalf, those retreats where He went to pray were also for His sifting – He survived His temptations and trials – Jesus was tested, sorted, sifted, then certified holy and effective. Jesus surely defeated death and the devil.
Jesus kept working for the Kingdom despite all trials. We can too. We must keep working despite our failings.
We are being sifted, tested, tried, yet we have the advantage of seeing this sifting as purposeful, so that we persevere. We will overcome it all with our faith and looking for Jesus as the Way.
Jesus saves and will help us return to Him after any temptation.
Jesus reminds the devil in Luke 4: “Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only”…
The scriptures also say, “You must not test your God.”
We have to be bold to say those same things to ourselves and to each other.
I found this thought provoking piece while looking up scriptures. The last part reminds us that we are to encourage others in their faith, THE FAITH, as we are all in this together. John Piper wrote:
“There is a great lesson here for us. Sometimes God will deal with you directly, strengthening your faith alone… But most of the time (we might say ten-elevenths of the time), God strengthens our faith through another person. God sends us some Simon Peter who brings just the word of grace we need to keep on in the faith: some testimony about how “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning” (Psalm 30:5). Eternal security is a community project. Whenever God encourages your heart with the promise that in Satan’s sifting your faith will not fail, then take that encouragement and double your joy by using it to strengthen your brothers and sisters.”
https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/the-sifting-of-simon-peter (I recommend reading this whole piece by John Piper)
So I urge you, my brothers and sisters, to encourage each other.
So, here is more on my arrogance and temptation where I was sifted by the devil to think that I handle everything well… Personally, I am very sorry now that I tested the Lord…
I was saved last night when I almost fell asleep driving. It wasn’t late, 5pm, I was just exhausted… I knew I was drifting asleep, but I thought I could make it, didn’t want to miss Halloween trick or treaters… and I really did nod off and those rumble strips surely saved my life… I heard them and I woke up fast – I could have lost my life or ruined my family’s future just because I was rushing home… Now I am encouraged by the PRE-THOUGHT of somebody else who went before me and invented these rumble strips and the workers who installed them on my bit of highway.
Therefore I believe the Lord went before them and knew those rumble strips could make noise to save lives…
Really I am not embarrassed enough, I should be to have tested the Lord with my thoughts that I could handle it all. I pray to know better next time, I feel my humanness and see (in hindsight and foresight) my devil-sifting temptations to say that I can handle everything… I am and will continue to be sifted by the devil. I will remind the devil that the Lord goes before us – I will remind him and myself to rely on the Lord. In my stupid arrogance of “having it all under control”, He reminds me that HE is the one who has it all under control. I am simply blessed to be on His Highway.
Jesus being pre-sifted allows us to now be SIFTED and live within God’s grace, still come out saved. Jesus is pure seed, no chaff left. The path to Heaven is narrow – but God has left these seeds of Jesus on the paths for us to follow – and the LIGHT of JESUS will nourish the seeds planted in us to bloom, and bear fruit.
I thank you Lord for your system. We must become the rumble strips for the world, to make noise, to warn, AND to praise. The rumble strips sound to you must mean: “one more save”. The rumble strips for me shook me awake and that does shake up my seeds and the chaff – let me pray that some of my chaff flew out the window that day. I don’t desire these temptations, but I do desire to always be brought back onto YOUR HIGHWAY LORD.
I thank You, Lord, for the save.