Monday, 4 May 2015

Simon's sifting

A lesson.

All those called to do anything in the Kingdom will learn to lose all trust in outward appearances...whether that is in others or in themselves. Learning to recognise God's anointed and His anointing by the spirit eye...not despising others or disqualifying yourself either. Let God choose, and surrender to that.

In Luke 22 we see another story which I have in my title...that of Simon. The account begins
Luk 22:24 A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest.
Maybe it was the wine, but their tongues were loosed that night, and men love to boast. No doubt Peter was putting forward the case that since he had walked on the water he should be the greatest...or maybe the two Sons of Thunder were claiming that title because they were so close to Jesus all the time?
Anyway...we see again in this story a similar contrast to that of Saul and David- God's method of choosing is not our method. Jesus tells them that the truly great ones are those who serve others in humility and love. But then He tells them that they shall receive a Kingdom and they shall sit with Him at His table and sit upon thrones ruling the twelve tribes of Israel.....then it comes..

"Simon, Simon".
Jesus, having chastened them and instructed them in how God sees things, picks Peter out from the twelve. Peter who had most likely been promoting himself is now going to learn that there are certain things he must lose before he will be fit to rule.
Luk 22:31 "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat,
In order for Peter to become like David- humble and small in his own eyes(1 Sam 18:18;2 Sam 7:18; 1Chron 29:14;) his pride had to be dealt a death blow.
Remember this is the guy who was a strong fisherman type...rugged, muscular, tanned and full of spontaneous bravado. I bet the girls thought he was a hunk as well! hahaha Any trust Peter had in that outer image of himself had to cease. Satan, the Accuser was to sift Simon Peter like wheat.
We know what happened. Peter denied Jesus three times and then later was restored back to Him by gentle love. During that time Peter was swamped by shame and guilt...the Accuser worked upon him, sifting him.
The useless outer husks are separated from the prized kernels of wheat during the sifting process. Peter came through this a changed man having learned a great lesson. Do not think too highly of yourself! The comforting thing is that Jesus said

"but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers." Luk 22:32

God wants us all to be "the Greatest in the Kingdom"...all finding our appointed place...but for each of us we must be prepared for it. Jesus has already prayed for us, and continues to do so until we stand in all the fullness of His person- in us. He has determined that we should be just like Himself. We do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit Himself prays for us with groaning that can not be uttered. He always lives to make intercession for us. He is working all things together for good in our lives so that we are totally conformed to His glorious image. Each of us could put our own name into Simon Simon...

For me it is Dennis Dennis...Satan has desired to have you, but I have prayed for you. Put your own name in there. Rest assured that Jesus , Who is in you..has already prayed over everything you will face today, tomorrow and beyond...and you will come through as gold- refined in the fire of His choosing -glorifying Him by your death--even the failures and the setbacks--all of it is in His plan for you.

He has already seen you standing at the end of the race---VICTORIOUS OVER ALL YOUR ENEMIES. You are his chosen one....not because of anything outward...or anything of your heritage....but ONLY because of Christ Jesus in you.

Not Afraid

Many fear the Lord –and I do not mean reverential fear–I mean they are afraid of Him. Have you ever had a dog that feared you and would not ...