“Simon, Simon, look out! Satan has asked to sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And you, when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31 - 32 (HCSB)
Sifting can be thought of as sifting flour to remove the undesirable lumps. In the Bible, Satan comes and seeks to sift Christians, not to remove the undesirable parts, but to shake our faith so that nothing will be left. In the account of Peter's denial we learn so deep truths about this process.
First, the devil cannot sift a believer without Christ's permission. Jesus told Peter ahead of his rejection and denial. Satan is called the "accuser of the brethren" in revelation 12:10. He comes before God and seeks to place accusations against us. He asks to be able to sift believers - especially those that God will use or is using.
Ponder today over the truth that Satan knows our name, and he seeks to make sure that we are out of service for God. He seeks to shake our faith, to cause doubts, to make us feel inadequate to serve our Father. And when he succeeds in this, we no longer serve, we no longer seek to build the Kingdom, we no longer are useful to God. But, this is not the end of the story. In the truth of redemption, we can see how God can take that which is marred and broken and restore to His usefulness.