Luke 22: 31-32 NKJV says “…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;…”
When you sift something, you separate the good from the bad, the useful from the unuseful, the important from what is unnecessary. Satan has asked the Lord to put us through a sifting process. And God didn’t say ‘But I will save you from this sifting’. Instead, he said that he has prayed for us that our faith should not fail. How significant are the prayers of the Lord? Mark 11:24 ESV says that “whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” So if the Lord, in all his power, might, purity, and deity, (who is the beginning and the end, the fulfillment of the word), asks for something in prayer; then he who is the very source of the word ‘believe’ (the truth), has already received what he has asked for and we just have to see it come to pass.
The scripture also used the word ‘should’. The Lord said that “… your faith should not fail”. It may seem that the use of the word ‘would’ is more secure and appropriate for this sentence than that of the word ‘should’. But in actuality, ‘Should’ tells us that he has given us the tools that are necessary to ensure that we have the support and backing that we need to pull through successful and victorious. ‘Would’ tells us that he has imagined the possibility that we could be victorious. ‘Should’ is a command, a stance, an expression, and a statement based on the word of God, while ‘Would’ is often used to ask many questions.
So the Lord has allowed Satan to proceed with the sifting process because it is necessary for our growth and development. Satan doesn’t realize that he is doing us, and God, a favor by conducting a process that separates the parts of us that hinder God’s work in us and through us, from the parts that God is trying to amplify and edify in his kingdom. Satan is only concerned with isolating our good so that he can rain down attacks and terror that contradict, steal, kill, and destroy our Salvation, locking us out of the Kingdom of Heaven, just like he was. But God uses the isolation of our bad, unuseful, and unnecessary parts so that he can destroy all the lies, break the yolks and chains, and free us from bondage. Without this very important preparational process, we cannot proceed to be productive in life and walk in the freedom that God has given us to choose whom we will serve.
When the Lord says that he has “prayed for you that your faith does not fail”, he’s not just saying that he is praying that you don’t stop believing in him when Satan starts to sift you, but even more so, he is praying that your works (the use of your creativeness, talents, gifts, and service) that validate the life of your faith, will continue, and does not die or cease to exist because of the sifting process.
Verse 32 goes on to say that “…and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” Although God has not questioned the ability of real faith to withstand the process, he acknowledges that as we proceed, we will question the movement of his hand, his control, what he allows to happen, our feelings about his delay to step in, and our emotional stability to continue to trust in what we cannot see. He has already factored in how the waves will toss us to-and-fro on the deep waters. But once we make it through the storm, he is waiting with great expectation for us to return to him with rejoicing and thanksgiving and that will be able to use our testimony to uplift, encourage and edify all who seek to be strengthened in the Lord.
No matter what you do, do not stop short. Yield to the process because God is sure of your victory. Change the way you speak to yourself, and start speaking like an overcomer, a conqueror, a victor. Child of God – Gather your confidence, your peace, your joy, and your assurance, and Proceed with the Process.