Satan’s Baking

“Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.” Luke 22:31-34

Baking hasn’t changed a whole lot in a few thousand years. We still have to separate wheat from the chaff although now combines can do it  mechanically. Wheat is sifted again prior to being made into flour. Sifting eliminates lumps by adding air, sorts out impurities, and evenly separates the often-compacted grain. If you don’t sift, you may end up with a finished product not fit to eat.

In this scripture Satan asked permission to sift Simon and Jesus allowed it. Jesus reminded Simon that he had prayed that his faith might not fail. The Greek word for sift is siniazo which means  1. to sift, shake in a sieve and 2. by inward agitation to try one’s faith to the very verge of overthrow. Doesn’t sound like fun, does it? While we endure the sifting process God prays and stays. His presence can’t be separated out. Impurities are taken away and we bind ever closer to the one who allowed us to go to the verge of overthrow. Our faith fattens up just like flour does when air is inserted.

Have you been shaken by your circumstances? Satan’s sifting may mean a whole lot of shaking is going on, but when the agitation is finished you’ll  emerge purer and closer to God’s intent for your life. This scripture reminds us that although Satan may be baking, God is still in charge of the kitchen.

Picture taken by Antonio Olmos for The New York Times


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