“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat.” – Luke 22:31
These are words of serious warning from Jesus. As He approaches the cross, Jesus warns one of His closest disciples that Satan has him in his rifle scope. As wheat is picked up tossed in the wind, Satan wants to pick Peter apart, toss him around so he cannot keep himself together. Satan aims for Peter’s ruin.
Satan tried this with Job and Satan is still doing this today. Satan’s attacks are not always the same; his tactic may change, but expect it. When you are given a responsibility, when you face a hardship, or when there is something about following God that you do not understand, be ready. Satan’s mission is to get you to deny Jesus and give up the Christian faith.
On hearing this, Simon Peter said, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and death.” Peter made the mistake of counting on his own strength. Peter did not think his faith would ever fail.
We do this when we underestimate the devil and overestimate ourselves. In those moments we need to hear 1 Corinthians 10:12, “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands, take heed lest he fall.” If we were swimming and were told there was a shark circling us, we would not turn and put up our fists; instead, we would climb into the boat. There we are safe. Against the enemy, Satan, we need to turn to Jesus. Pray for His help, His strength, that He will give us faith to withstand the attacks of Satan.
Suggestions for prayer
Pray that God gives you a keen awareness of both your own weakness and frailty and also of God’s strength and power. Ask God to protect you and to preserve you to hold fast to Him in faith all your days.
Rev. Simon Lievaart is a pastor for Bethel United Reformed Church of Smithers BC. He and his wife Jodi have four children.