In my last blog, I shared that the Lord had given me a vision of people being sifted. What I saw was a jar with sand and people inside that were being dumped out into a sifter. It was what appeared to be a beach setting and the sifter was what someone might use to separate the sand from the larger objects (or in this case people) they desired to keep.
I began thinking of a couple of scriptures that had to do with sifting. In Luke 22:31-33 says:
31 And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 “But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” 33 But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” 34 Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.” (NIV)
In Matthew 3:12, John the Baptist said of Jesus: 12 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” (NKJV)
This describes the winnowing or sifting process, which was designed to separate the wheat from the chaff. The chaff is the outer hull or husks of the plant that die and need to be separated from the grain before it is gathered into the barn. I believe the chaff represents our carnal or sinful nature.
When the Lord allows us to be sifted, it is to cause a greater death to our carnal nature, so we can become more like Him. Peter thought he was ready to lay down his life for Jesus, but after being sifted, he saw that he was not ready at all, in fact, he ended up denying Christ three times.
Jesus told Peter that when he returned to him, he was to strengthen his brethren. Once he went through the sifting process, the Lord humbled and strengthened him and he became more useable for God’s kingdom. I believe the Lord is allowing many to go through a similar process right now, which will result in greater glory.
The Lord is coming back for a bride that is pure and holy, without wrinkle, spot, stain or blemish (Ephesians 5:27). I’ve heard it said that the way you remove spots is through washing and the way you remove wrinkles is by applying heat.
I Peter 1:6-7 says that the purpose of trials is to prove the genuineness of our faith, which is much more precious than that of gold, which is tested by fire. The process of refining gold involves putting it in the fire until the impurities come to the surface and then scooping them off. The more the process is repeated, the more pure the gold becomes. While none of us look forward to trials, we can rest in the fact that the Lord is shaping and molding us so that we can be the people of faith He wants us to be.
The Lord impressed Hebrews 11 on my heart this morning. I love verse 34, where it speaks of those who “out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.” They didn’t start out as mighty warriors of God. They started out weak, but became valiant in battle and I believe that is God’s plan for all of us. God bless you all.
In Christ –Kelly Rowe