You’re a failure.
You can’t possibly succeed in this.
You don’t know what you’re doing.
What’s the point?
Do any of those statements sound familiar? They do for me. And I hear them most often inside my own head.
As I’ve searched Scripture for help, I remember someone close to Jesus who must have experienced this type of inner turmoil—Peter.
In Luke 22, Jesus shares the Passover meal with the apostles just prior to his returning home to the Father. During their time together, Jesus tells Peter, “Satan has asked to sift you like wheat” (v. 31). These eight words are nestled among so many, yet they have such significant impact in Peter’s life—and also in our own. The phrase “has asked to sift you” is also translated as desired you, demanded to have you, and has demanded the right to test you. The Greek words indicate Satan sought permission from God to do what he wanted.
Picture Satan begging God to let him have a go at one of Jesus’ closest friends. If you’re of a certain age, you might imagine that scene from the Wizard of Oz where the lion says “Let me at ’em; let me at ’em.” This situation, however, is far less innocent.
What does the enemy want to do, specifically? The words reference sifting wheat, which is the process of separating rocks and other debris from wheat when it’s harvested. Essentially the wheat is tossed in the air so the chaff and debris are caught by the wind while the grain falls down to be collected. So if the enemy wants to sift us, what should we do?
The answer—it seems—is to become un-siftable.