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Can God Get Glory from My Life?

    by Dominique Henderson

Oh to be Sifted
Date Posted: August 24, 2008

I thought I was through talking about Peter, but in thinking about it there is more to say about this great apostle and more to glean from his encounters with Jesus. Peter’s pre-Acts character reminds me so much of what seems to be the common Christian response to the wiles of the Devil (see Ephesians 6:11)--naivety. Jesus in being fully God knew the plans that Satan had to destroy Peter and the other disciples (see Luke 22:31) but Peter whether from arrogance or naivety (and ignorance) didn’t comprehend the extent of Jesus’ warning. So in considering what is truly a problem for me (and other Christians I’m sure) I would like to focus on Peter’s response to sifting.

First, sifting in and of itself is an interesting process. I don’t know how grain (specifically wheat) is sifted nowadays, but in the old Jewish culture it was done manually. During harvesting, stalks of grain were grabbed with one hand while the other hand swiped a sickle back and forth to cut them down. Then the stalks were tied in bundles with straw. Afterwards the bundles would be taken to the threshing floor which was a hard, flat surface where the grain was spread out and beaten (or threshed) to separate the kernels of grain from the straw. Then the threshed grain would either be tossed in the air with a pitchfork so that the wind could separate the lighter chaff from the heavy kernels of grain or shaken through a woven sifter to separate chaff from grain. Too much information? I think not. I’ve just explained the primary elements to harvesting, the application to the Christian life is very evident. Does any of this sound familiar? Do your trials beat you up? Do you feel like God is separating the chaff out of your life? Notice the many steps it takes to get to the finished product of a kernel of grain. Just one kernel! I believe that we as Christians would be able to endure the challenges that life brings much easier if we realized that God is just taking us through a process. This process is imposed upon us so that we can become a finished product. The assembly line of making us mature Christians is not a quick process. There is some chopping, beating, threshing, tossing, and sifting that must take place in order for us to be useful to the kingdom. Peter with all his ambition and spunk would not have been effective for the kingdom unless his character had been tested. Satan’s request to have Peter and the other disciples although granted was designed for the good of those that would be tested (see Romans 8:28-29). As Christians, we can rest assured that God is not going to allow anything to happen to us that would not make us more like Christ. Trusting God to work in us his perfect will for the benefit of the kingdom is an element of faith that we must possess to be joyful in our testing. Scripture tells us that it is God who works in us to will and to do according to his good pleasure (see Philippians 2:13). Looking back at Luke 22, Jesus tells Peter that he’s prayed for him that what? That his faith fails not. His faith! Jesus has just given us the answer to enduring the sifting process. He has just revealed how to have joy when we endure trials. We have to possess unfailing faith. This faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. The Scriptures contain promise upon promise of God to which we as Christians must hold fast. Our confession of faith is to be clutched tightly so that at the end of our sifting we can strengthen others. That is Jesus’ command to Peter. When you have been converted or when you come around, strengthen your brothers. (see Luke 22:32) You see it never stops with us. The measure of faith that is dealt to every man and woman (see Romans 12:3) is a deposit that is to earn interest and be shared with the entire kingdom of believers. God never wants me to hide my testimony from others. He wants me to reveal how I’ve endured the sifting process so that others can be helped and so that he is glorified. The Apostle Peter preached with authority and conviction to the Jews on the day of Pentecost that Jesus was the Christ after he had been converted from a stalk of grain to a kernel of wheat. His sifting process made him into a vessel able to be used of God for the glory of God and the building of the kingdom. It is inevitable that we will all endure sifting as Christians. The question then becomes, what will the sifting process allow you to become?

Dear God help me to endure the sifting process that you have prepared for me to become more and more like Jesus. Help me to hold fast to my confession of faith and realize that this process will bring glory to your name. Amen

Suggested Scriptures:

Luke 22:31-32

Philippians 2:1-13

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Biography Information:
Dominique Henderson is a believer in the one and only Son of God - Jesus Christ.  After being a believer for many years, he didn't begin to realize the purpose God had for him until the age of 30.  He has a passion for fellow musicians and worship leaders that have allowed Satan to distract them from their God-given gifts.  He now lives day by day following the lead of the Holy Spirit--not perfectly but diligently. He enjoys writing and spending time with his wife, Briana, and their three children.
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