Sifting for Shifting

Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. 32 But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So, when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers (Luke 22:31-32 NLT)."

I had a dream of a young minster. The man looked as if he had everything going for him. He was well-dressed and spoke with self-assurance. He appeared to be a good leader. Later he confided in me that his confidence came from drinking alcohol. I told him the Lord wanted him to be sober and that praying in the Spirit would help him have confidence. He laughed at that, and his wife, who was him, did the same. Because of his response to me, I had to part company with them. Then the Lord clearly showed me a flour sifter.

Professional bakers sift flour to aerate and make it light so it can combine more easily with other ingredients. The end product is moist and fluffy. Sifting removes the lumps and bumps in the flour to make it just right for its ultimate purpose. Likewise, gardeners poke holes in the ground to aerate it so it can readily receive rain. The life of a plant is contingent on the quality of its soil.

The coronavirus pandemic is sifting God's church. The world you live in is all shook up. Your regular routines and your circumstances have changed. The Lord is not shaking His children. But He is shaking things off of us that cannot genuinely provide safety and stability. The young man in my dream appeared strong in his faith by presenting a false image. He doubted that God would give him real confidence if he relied upon Him.

It's painful when God pokes holes in our faulty belief systems that keep us in lockdown. Being sober doesn't necessarily relate to alcohol. Take a few minutes and ponder these words found in Isaiah chapter 29. Be surprised and amazed! You will become drunk, but not from wine. The Lord says, “These people come to honor me with words, but I am not important to them.” Religious traditions can never take the place of an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. The form of godliness people wear has to come off, so the power of God can set them free.

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