God has warned us about Satan in the Bible. Satan is a master destroyer of the souls of men. He has been a murderer and a liar from the beginning, so God commanded us to be sober and vigilant because our adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour.
Satan’s greatest desire is to have you, that he may sift you as wheat (Luke 22:31). Don’t think of the sifting of flour when reading this scripture. When God talks about sifting wheat, He is referring to a very violent action used to separate the grain from the stalk and chaff. It literally means “tearing the wheat apart.” It means to beat, bend and shake the wheat stalks so violently that the valuable grain shakes loose from the shaft, which is worthless.
In essence, Jesus was saying to Peter: “Satan doesn’t think your faith is real. He thinks if he overwhelms you with temptations, burdens, arduous tests and painful trials, your faith is going to self-destruct and fall to the ground as worthless refuse.”
The devil is not ignorant. Somehow he understood that Peter was set apart to bear much fruit. He knew that God would give Peter power and authority that would be mightily used against his kingdom of darkness. This is the very reason Satan wants to sift you. He knows that you have been set apart by God and prepared by His own hand to be a powerful witness to many. And the greater your potential for God’s kingdom, the more severe your sifting will be.
To put it simply, you are on Satan’s hit list. He wants to sift and distract you away from your purpose, your ministry, your gifts and your kingdom assignment. He wants to sift and woo you away from God, from church, from prayer, from the abundant life, and the list goes on.
Perhaps, like Peter, you are being shaken and sifted. If so, you ought to rejoice knowing you have such a noteworthy reputation in hell. Satan wouldn’t be after you if you weren’t a hazard to his evil plans. He only seeks to sift those who threaten his work. He always goes after the tree with the most potential to bear fruit. He goes after the believer who is making an impact for the kingdom of God; the one who is a real threat to his evil plans.
It’s the image of God in you that so enrages hell. It’s not your gift, your car, your title or your material wealth. It’s your yoke-breaking, devil-destroying anointing and power.
Just as He did for Peter, Christ intercedes, praying for us, that our faith will not fail. Wow, that’s huge! The very God of the universe prays for us. When the Savior prays that your faith does not fail, it won’t. Because when Jesus intercedes for us, it’s not just any old call for help, but a specific intercession on our behalf.
Jesus’ prayers are not only powerful and effective but they’re also omniscient. Jesus knows in advance everything that we will go through. He knew what would happen to Peter — the denials, the lies, and the cursing. Jesus saw it all beforehand, so He knew exactly what Peter needed. Jesus knew exactly how to pray for Peter, and He knows exactly how to pray for you.
Isn’t it interesting that the Lord didn’t pray that Peter wouldn’t fall? He prayed that his faith wouldn’t fail. He did not want his faith to shipwreck in ruins. And in the end, Peter’s faith did not fail because of the Master’s prayer.
As long as you’re alive on Planet Earth you will face troubles, trials, problems and the pressures of life that might otherwise shake your faith. But because Jesus is praying for you, your faith will never be shattered. Don’t lose your faith!
To learn more about Barbara Bryant, visit www.barbarabryant.com