And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren (Luke 22:31-32 (KJV).
Sifting wheat is an agricultural process in which the grain is violently shaken or agitated to remove its outer shell.
Simon Peter is a perfect example of being sifted He had to endure tests, trials, challenges, and even his own personal blunders. He left his vocation and source of livelihood to follow Jesus. He sacrificed personal ambition and was sifted by Satan.
Satan’s goal in sifting Peter was to shake him to the core, to expose and exploit any weakness he had, and cause him to fail. Satan desired Peter for this sifting because he was the leader among the apostles. In fact, Satan’s plan was partially successful, causing Peter to deny the Lord three times that night.
Though Jesus spoke these words to Peter, but they are spoken to all of us prophetically. To be placed in the hands of Satan for a sifting process is uncomfortable; it's absolutely painful. But often it is necessary for the work that God is trying to accomplish in you. God has the unique ability to take circumstances in life and use them to birth within us a deeper anointing and stronger faith for greater service. When we go through seasons of sifting, we must understand that God is trying break the outer shell to tap into the potential that is inside us.
Jesus also said, “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not…” There’s great assurance in knowing that Jesus Himself is interceding for us. Although Peter failed, he found his way back. If you are in a sifting process, you WILL make it through. It may take days, weeks, or even years; but you will make it. Your faith will not fail. God is birthing a deep work within you.
The sifting that God is allowing to take place in you is intended to separate the good from the bad. It will cause some things to surface from within you that God wants you to repent of and to put away. Then He will take what’s left and use it for His purposes. You will do exploits.
This is the call of God on your life. Just don’t allow the process to discourage you. If God has allowed you this experience, it is designed to teach you something that can be used as a testimony for Christ.
The ministry is not easy. You don't just step into it. You are sifted into it.