Believing God through the Sifting Process

Beth Moore is an amazing Bible teacher. Well, let me rephrase that because she would not want me giving her the glory... God has made Beth Moore an amazing teacher of His word. I have learned so much through the studies He has instructed her to write.
Presently, I am going through Believing God with Beth and a group of women at our church. It was God's perfect timing to do this study right now. It has been exactly what I have needed in my life. The basic gist of this study can be summed up in one question: You believe IN God, but do you believe Him? It has been very eye opening.
She said something tonight that I can't seem to get out of my head. I actually felt like I had to get up out of bed to share this with you all. Maybe this is for someone else besides me or maybe God just really wants this to sink in. Either way, let me back up and give you a scriptural starting point.
Luke 22:31, 32: 31"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you[a] as wheat. 32But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."
The person speaking to Simon in this passage was Jesus himself. God gave Beth so many nuggets in these 2 verses and I am grateful that she passed this knowledge on to us.
First of all, Satan didn't just ask to sift Simon. The "you" in verse 31 is plural. Satan was asking to sift all of us. This verse wasn't intended for this lone disciple. Satan doesn't just seek to sift the people in the ancient days. He looks to sift all of us.
Secondly, and this may be the most important point, is that God will allow Satan to sift you if there are things in your life that need to go. Otherwise, he gets a big fat no. This was very profound to me tonight because I feel like I am being sifted over and over again. Unfortunately, sometimes I feel self righteous about this because I wasn't the "cause" of the problem. I didn't throw myself into the pit, so what can I learn? It's not my fault.
Either way, God has allowed this to happen in my life. Maybe, just maybe, there hasn't been a major healing because I am not allowing God to do what he wants to do in my own life. I need to get rid of some of the fleshy things in order for the things of the Spirit to move in.
Thirdly, if Satan is allowed to sift Jesus will pray for you so that you may not fail. I can really relate to this point as well. Lately, I have felt as if I just didn't have it in me to press on. I was at my breaking point. I actually said to myself recently, "I am at the end of my rope and letting go. I really hope God is there to hold on to me." Thankfully, He was there and He will continue to be there for me, especially when I don't have the strength to pray for myself.
Lastly, when all the dust has settled we are to strengthen one another. We are to encourage one another. This was very affirming in my own life. I know that God has called me into ministry. It happened 7 months after He so graciously saved me. It has been 3 years since that calling and I have felt like maybe I got it wrong. Like maybe I was just really excited about the transformation in my life and got ahead of myself. Maybe I was ahead of myself, but I do not doubt the calling that God has on my life and Chris' life. God's timing is not mine, which is a great thing. I can tell you that if I were to pursue what God has envisioned for me right now, I would fall flat on my face. I am just not ready for that yet. I see too many things within myself that just aren't right. There is still way too much me and not enough of Him.
As for the struggles and trails, I have a new perspective. I can look at this through the lens of sifting. I will try to ask myself daily what needs to be removed from my life. I will close with a paraphrase from tonight's lesson:

He has places to take us, but there are some things in us that can't go there and some things of the Spirit that need to go there.

I am going to believe God to take us to that place...no matter the cost.

6 Responses to "Believing God through the Sifting Process"

Shannon O. (visit their site)

Amen, Amanda, this spoke to me too! Your words are much appreciated confirmation that God indeed laid it on my heart to do this study. I pray that our faith is growing minute by minute. The awesome part is that we serve a God who is worthy of our belief and trust! May He alone be glorified.

Julie (visit their site)

you said, "...God called me into ministry..."
just wanted to remind you that being a godly wife and momma is a spectacular calling of ministry. You are making a difference in and through your home. Don't forget that important truth. The devil wants us to forget and feel less than important...and long for more worldly things.

Amanda (visit their site)

Thanks for the reminder of what we do at home everyday. It is very easy to get caught up in the everyday routine and forget how much of an eternal significance we are making in our families.

See you in class soon, Shannon!

Anonymous (visit their site)

Amanda

Can you believe that I was just trying to google some stuff today and ran across your blog? You actually said you felt like you needed someone to hear it and I think that someone may be me. I did this study many years ago and it remains a favorite of mine. And right now I am living in a sifting season. It has been the single most difficult year of my life and man, oh man have I had the privilege to see some of the ugly things in my life that i have made excuses for! I criticize it in others but make excuses for it in my own! Lord help me. Thanks for sharing this and what God is teaching you. I needed to remember that as I cried out to the Lord this morning, and literally that was about all I could do, He heard me and Jesus is praying for me. Thanks for your obedience.

Amanda (visit their site)

Keep hanging on and believing God. I look back at my life over the past few months and God is finally started to change our circumstances. It has been a long process, but God is always faithful. Keep crying out to Him and relying on Him to pray for you when you don't feel like you may not even have the strength.

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