I don’t think any of us can comprehend the great conflict raging right now in the spiritual realm. Nor do we realize how determined Satan is to destroy all believers who have fixed their hungering hearts firmly on Christ.
In our Christian walk, the moment we cross that line into a life of obedience to God’s Word and dependence on Jesus alone, we become a threat to the kingdom of darkness and a prime target of demonic principalities and powers. The testimony of every believer who turns to the Lord with all his heart includes the sudden onslaught of strange and intense troubles.
In the gospel of Luke, Jesus introduces this subject of the sifting of saints. “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to me, strengthen your brethren” (Luke 22:31-32, NKJV). In Christ’s day, grain workers used a sieve just before they sacked grain. They shoveled wheat into a square box covered with netting then shook it violently. The grit and dirt fell through the netting until only the grain kernels remained.
There are trials, and then there is sifting. I see sifting as one major, all-out satanic onslaught. It is usually compressed into a short but very intense period of time. For Peter, the sifting would only last a few days, but those days would become the most faith-shaking, shocking and remorseful days of his life. It could have destroyed his witness once and for all.
Thank God, Peter’s faith did not fail. As surely as Jesus prayed that his “faith fail not,” he prays for us in the same manner. The Lord gives all of us that kind of love!
In our walk with God, we have yet another ‘It is written’ with which we can do battle against Satan. It is this: “I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail.” You can tell the devil, “You may have gotten permission to sift me, to try to tear at my faith; but you need to know this: My Savior is praying for me!”