Luke 22:31 – And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired [to have] you, that he may sift [you] as wheat:
Luke 22:32 – But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
Luke 22:33 – And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.
Luke 22:34 – And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.
Many of you know by now that I see things a little different from most. But as I read this portion of scripture it really stands out at you Jesus tells Peter that Satan desires him, and he wanted to sift him. But the great mystery is that He didn’t bind Satan from him, nor rebuke him; but rather all of His focus was upon the faith of Peter. So possibly our faith is the key, not just the binding and loosing? He tells Peter you are about to get sifted, but I pray for your faith that you will not be shaken and still believe! So we see here the manifested reality of the sovereignty of God. Even in the sifting process He is still in control.
One of the early Fathers said once the only thing that God is not in control of is the love you have for Him. So we see Jesus saying to Peter no matter what keep having faith in my Love! This word sift is also found in Amos 9:9, the interesting thing there is that God says He will sift the house of Israel, but not one single grain will fall to the earth. This is very important that we understand this sifting process. In the garden of Eden God told the serpent you are doomed to crawl on the ground and you shall eat dust of the earth. Well friends the ‘ONLY’ thing the serpent, your adversary, the devil, satan (however you wish to label him) can devour from you is the dust or fleshly lower nature!
A most interesting concept happens during and after the ‘sifting’ process; conversion! When you are converted, strengthen your brethren. The word converted here means:
To turn back to the True God – Love – and People
To turn to oneself (discovery realm)
At first you sort of get the idea of the converting is some sort of slipping away and then coming back. It was obvious that Peter did do just that when presented the opportunity. Peter denied the Lord even though it was clear his heart, passion, and even choice was to die with Jesus and even go to jail. So in the sifting something happened beyond Peter’s own will to choose. I think it could quite possibly more about exposing what might have been hidden within Peter all along, this fear of man? The sifting brought it to the surface at the right time and he manifested the denial! But that is not where it ends, the conversion takes place when He not only acknowledges the manifestation of the spirit of rejection of Christ; the true conversion takes place when he goes beyond that place into a deep place of discovery of himself!
There is nothing like being sifted for the mature believer to go deeper within himself and find some new discoveries about themselves. The prodigal son in Luke 15 did just that. He came to himself! This is the idea that there is a true conversion or divine discovery during some of our most difficult times! I guess it’s the nature of the human hard headedness? So if you find yourself in these situations you must realize the maturity of your process and not just seek a way out, but rather look a little deeper and be converted! Jesus was led of the Spirit in the wilderness to be tested, but He passed the tests and returned in the Power of the Spirit!