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Passages Ministries

The Ministries of John "BJ" Hall

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Since January 18, 2015

Satan's Sifting

~ By Evangelist John BJ Hall ~

I believe there is a real devil! Many people don’t. They put him in the same category as Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. They relegate him to the superstition and ignorance of the Middle Ages.

The Bible declares his existence, his intentions, as well as his methods. It tells us he is a spiritual being who is the enemy of God, his people, and all that is good. Jesus once said to Peter, “Satan desired to sift you as wheat...” (Luke 22:31). The purpose of sifting is to separate. Satan’s desire is to shake us loose from our faith. Here is that passage in its context:

Luke 22:31-34 (KJV)
And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32  But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith
fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. 33  And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. 34  And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.

How does Satan sift us today?

SATAN SIFTS US BY DOUBTS. He tries to discredit God’s word in our minds and to get us to doubt it. This is exactly what he did in the Garden of Eden with Eve. He discredited God’s word in her mind. If he can do that we can be easily led into sin.

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.” — William Shakespeare

SATAN SIFTS US BY DISAPPOINTMENTS. When the Lord or his people do not measure up to our expectations, it discourages us. My father warned me as a youth, “If the Devil can’t make you fall, he will make someone fall, whose fall will make you fall.”

Disappointments can turn us from the Lord. BUT they don’t have to. We can allow it to make us stronger.

“Disappointment to a noble soul is what cold water is to burning metal; it strengthens, tempers, intensifies, but never destroys it.” — Eliza Tabor

SATAN SIFTS US BY OUR DESIRES. James says that we are tempted when we are drawn away by our own lusts (James 1:14). If we follow our desires rather than God’s Word, we end up in sin. Eve saw that the fruit was good for food.

Have you ever, while watching an interesting program on TV, seen a commercial come on that had some tantalizing food. It looked so good you could almost taste it? How tempting it is to get up and go to the refrigerator and get out something to eat. Why, because our desire has been aroused.

This happens in our spiritual walk as well.

“Lust is a captivity of the reason and an enraging of the passions. It hinders business and distracts counsel. It sins against the body and weakens the soul.” — Jeremy Taylor

SATAN SIFTS US BY DECEIT. He is the father of all lies. If he can deceive us, he will. Again, this is one of the things he used in the Garden. He told Eve that she could be like God.

“Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is that man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another.” —Homer

SATAN SIFTS US BY DIFFICULTIES. Disease and death, sickness and sorrow, are not the handiwork of God. As in the case of Job, these are most often the works of Satan. Trouble has shaken more people’s faith in God than anything else I know.

People who have bought into the “name it and claim it gospel” are especially susceptible in this area. Just imagine, being taught that if you have enough faith, or speak the right words, or give to the right preacher your child will be healed. Then when he is not, many turn away from their faith and leave the church.

“There are two ways of meeting difficulties: you alter the difficulties or you alter yourself meeting them.” — Phyllis Bottome

We must learn to trust the Lord in everything. He will never let you down. Trust in me and I will disappoint you. I am a man with the same weaknesses as all men. But Christ lived a sinless life and died for our salvation. Trust Him today.

He Strengthens Me

When all of life begins to pale,
My Lord has promised not to fail.
His Word is fresh, and never stale,
And strengthens me when I am frail.

So I can trust Him as my friend.
He will be with me to the end.
He helps me stand against the trend,
And for His will, my life I’ll spend.

© Copyright 1995 by Passages Ministries. All Rights Reserved.
For permission to use this poem contact Passages Ministries. 

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