Satan and sifting

  • Job 1 and 2 – Satan asked permission to sift Job (to see what he was made of).
  • Matthew 3:11-12 – “and his winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will thoroughly clean his threshing floor” (wheat from chaff)
  • Amos 9:9 – “shake the house of Israel as grain is shaken in a sieve”
  • Acts 5:3 – Satan filled Ananias’ heart to lie
  • Luke 22:3; John 13:2, 27 – Satan entered Judas’ heart

“Has requested permission”

  • Satan was not content with Judas alone (John 13:2, 27)
  • Mark 5:1-15 – Jesus has control over demons.
  • Acts 19:10-19 – Paul had power over demons also.
  • II Corinthians 2:11 – “We are not ignorant…”
  • We like to think that we don’t have control over our errors because of fear, stress, emotions, etc.

Peter’s basic personality and demeanor

  • Extremely self-confident and often not as smart or tough as he thought it was.
  • Very motivated, to the point of appearing arrogant at times.
  • Always the first to speak and relay his plan to all.

“To sift you like wheat”

  • Some of Peter’s sifting:
    • Luke 22:54-61; Mark 16:7 – humiliation
      • Peter realized he was not as smart or as tough as he thought he was. Would Peter be excited to see Jesus again after His resurrection?
    • John 21:15-23 – not enough faith
    • Acts 4:3-11; 5:18; 12:4-11 – prison
      • Peter had quickly gone from somewhat of a coward to a man that would loudly proclaim Jesus without fear of death.
      • Peter was sleeping in prison the night before he was to be put to death!
    • Galatians 2:11-14 – publicly condemned by Paul
      • Peter was caught up in hypocrisy. He still needed sifting. This is no doubt something Paul did not want to do.\
    • I Peter 1:6-12; 4:1-2, 12-16
      • As you grow older, has your personality and understanding of God changed?
      • The testing of your faith makes you a different person.
      • Sifting and testing are the same thing. Peter is no longer concerned about death. He is concerned about having his name written in the book of life.

How does God prepare us for His service?

  • By gifting us – Romans 12:6-12; I Peter 4:10; Matthew 25:29
    • This process allows us to grow talents we have and acquire new ones.
  • By sifting us – I Peter 4:12-19
    • This process helps me to eliminate the bad thing in me and enhances the good.


  • God always totally controls the sifting process.
    • Job 1-2
      • Job was being sifted, but he had no clue about it!
    • Philippians 1:1921
    • I Corinthians 10:11-13

Two responses to the sifting process

  • Anger, rebellion, depression, etc. – That leads to eternal death and destruction.
    • Romans 1:24-32
  • Repentance and confession of wrong attitudes and actions – That leads to godliness
    • James 4:13-17; I Peter 5:6-7
      • How much of our anxiety can we hand to God? All of it!
  • Eventually, we all repent!