Luke 22:31-34 And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.” NKJV
Our Lord warned Peter that satan had desired him to sift him as wheat (Luke 22:31). The devil wanted to shake Peter’s faith and trust in our Lord Jesus Christ just as he had earlier done with Judas Iscariot to such a degree that the Scripture said, Luke 22:3 “Then satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve.” NKJV The enemy now had total control over this man Judas and so wanted to do likewise with Peter and the other disciples. The enemy wanted to riddle Peter with many spiritual, physical, and emotional wounds and make him fearful. The glorious thing that occurred on Peter’s behalf was made evident from the lips of our Lord Jesus when He said, Luke 22:32 “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” NKJV It is our faith that quenches all of the fiery darts of the wicked one as the Apostle Paul would later write in this manner, Ephesians 6:16 “Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” NKJV
The desiring on behalf of the devil to sift Peter and the other disciples had not happened only at that moment, but most likely the enemy had continually come to our Lord with such a request, but our Lord found this time fitting to make them aware of the pending danger right after He found them arguing about which of them would be considered the greatest. The Lord Jesus always knows the future as if it were the present or past for He sees them all as one. He knew the hearts of every one of His disciples before He even chose each one of them even though He spent all night in prayerful communion with the Father before calling these specific 12 men to Him. Somewhat similar to the instance with Job the enemy must have permission from God before he can ever be allowed to attack any of us who belong to our Lord Jesus Christ. Let me say if you don’t know battles in spiritual warfare with the devil then something is wrong because the enemy desires every son or daughter of our Lord that loves Him and desires to live a godly life in Him.
Our Lord is going to allow the enemy to raddle or shake Peter’s brashness and boldness briefly. Peter got caught trusting in his own heart and any man or woman that does that is foolish and will meet with extreme disappointment and if Peter would have remembered the words of the Prophet Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” NKJV he would have been much more attentive to listen to our Lord’s warning to him. Much like the time when Peter boldly stepped out of the boat to walk on the water to the Lord, but became afraid when he looked around at the frightful storm and sank, so will he become afraid of being crucified himself even though he again will boldly take up a sword and chop of a man’s ear as they come to arrest our Lord. Peter was confident that he would never deny the Lord and spoke up in His presence to assure the Lord that he would always be faithful even if the others departed. The warning our Lord spoke to the Apostle Peter can easily be the same warning for every true Christian. The man or woman that loves our Lord Jesus Christ will have continual head on collisions with the devil because the enemy hates our Lord and guilt by association he hates us and wants to steal away our joy in the Lord and make us doubt our salvation and try and get us to compromise with sin so that we will bring reproach to the Name of Christ Jesus our Lord (see the article entitled “satan Desires Thee”, (http://www.faithwriters.com/article-details.php?id=81522).
One of the reasons our Lord Jesus allows the enemy to sift professing Christians can be summed up as one of His methods of showing forth the division, distinction, and difference of the wheat verses the tares. The contrast in the two disciples Peter and Judas is a true life example of the division because both men sinned horrifically and needed repentance, but only Peter truly repents and is restored later on by our Lord Jesus and continues on after our Lord’s resurrection to faithfully follow the Lord Jesus Christ. Continuance in sin and rebellion to our Lord and His Word is a clear indication that the person is only professing faith in Christ and does not through regeneration/new birth possess true faith in Christ Jesus our Lord. Likewise today in many other countries throughout the world there is clear evidence of the separation of true believers and false believers because of the cost it requires in many of these countries for people to follow our Lord Jesus Christ. It is much harder to discern the difference in this country because of the freedom we have in this country to worship openly no matter what a person believes. People in some countries can’t even own a Bible. The ministry the Voice of the Martyrs documents 53 countries where it is restricted or totally illegal to preach the gospel or own a Bible. Salvation is a free gift received from our Lord Jesus Christ at the moment we repent and trust Him alone, but to follow Him cost very much for many of His sons and daughters around the world.
Peter did not realize the weakness that was in him and spoke from a sincere heart, but one that would be shaken by the prospects of eminent death. Our Lord permitted this grievous failure by Peter that he might recognize his utter weakness and feebleness (Luke 22:33). This failure of Peter’s never left his consciousness for the remainder of his pilgrimage on the earth and he would do all he could to warn other believers of the attacks of the enemy physically, spiritually, and emotionally as our Lord Jesus Christ had warned him and his two epistles capture his heart in this matter and none more than these words he wrote, 1 Peter 5:8-11 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. NKJV
“Like a good chess player, Satan is always trying to maneuver you into a position where you can save your castle only by losing your bishop.” C. S. Lewis
“I believe Satan to exist for two reasons: first, the Bible says so; and second, I've done business with him.” D. L. Moody
“This discourse, and the present frame of my mind, lead me rather to speak to those, who by feeling Satan's fiery darts, know assuredly that there is a devil.” George Whitefield
“We are evidently no friends of satan. Like the kings of this world, he wars not against his own subjects. The very fact that he assaults us should fill our minds with hope.” J. C. Ryle
“The evil satan causes is only by the permission of God... It would be unbiblical and irrelevant to attribute to satan (or sinful man) the power to frustrate the designs of God.” John Piper
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reader, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…