Encouragement From The Word

Sifting

Sifting.

When we think of sifting, we tend to think of wheat, even though most of us probably have never actually done that, unless we’ve lived on a farm.

Sifting is the separation of the grain from the chaff.  The grain (wheat is the commonest one) is useful, but the chaff is not.

Metaphorically, the Bible makes use of this term in a number of places, particularly in the separation of followers of Jesus from those who don’t follow him.  Jesus even told Peter, as Jesus was preparing for his death on the cross, that Satan wanted to sift the disciples like wheat (Luke 22.31).  In that case, the evil one’s desire was to attempt to separate believers from their faith.

There’s a lot of that kind of sifting going on in the world today.

The devil is doing his level best to try to get followers of Jesus to walk away from the Lord.  He is putting all manner of trials in people’s lives in an attempt to separate people from Jesus.  He is trying to sift us.

But guess what:  he can’t pull it off.

Why not?

Because Satan doesn’t have that kind of power.

It actually takes very little to fend off the devil.  All you have to do is resist.

How do I know that?  Well, there’s some personal experience, but better than that, I know it because it’s right in God’s Word:

So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4.7, NLT)

That’s all it takes.  You need merely to resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  As a follower of Jesus, you have the power of the Holy Spirit living in and through you.

Can I ask a favour of you?

Whether you’re in a challenging season or not, I’m asking you to commit that verse to memory.

Even if you don’t feel like you need it right now, it’s a pretty safe bet that you will need that word of encouragement at some point along your journey of faith.  If you put that piece of Scripture in your arsenal right now, you’ll have it forever.

So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Memorize that, starting today, and then you’ll remember, at any point that Satan is trying to sift you, that all you have to do is resist, and he’ll leave you alone.  This may sound simplistic, and I assure you, it may be a long process; it may even be a daily struggle.  But if you resist, again and again, in the power of the Holy Spirit, you will overcome.

So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

(By the way, I’ll be talking about Satan’s role in the end times on Sunday, and this verse will play an important role.  You’re welcome to join us at St. Paul’s Church, Nobleton, or on our YouTube channel if you’re too far away to come.)

Biblical Messages

Dealing With Temptation

Temptation is something we face virtually every day, but sometimes, we don’t even know it, because right and wrong have been so blurred as to remove the notion of the meaning or existence of temptation.

Jesus experienced temptation, and one place his testing by the devil is recorded is Luke 4.1-13.  His experiences teaches us some valuable lessons in dealing with temptation.  Listen to the message here.