Sunday, October 14, 2007

Satan's Sifting...

I am reading a wonderful little book I received at the Desiring God National Conference entitled, "Walk as He Walked." In the second section, the author is discussing how Jesus is going to allow Peter to be "sifted" by Satan, but has prayed that Peter's faith will not fail. He points out how, although Satan means for the sifting to be something that destroys Peter, he will actually be stronger for it. This is because Satan's "sifting" will take away all means of relying on self, thus forcing Peter to rely solely on Christ with no pretenses.

That should be the life of the Christian today. If we are following closely to Jesus, we should expect to be targeted by Satan for sifting, but we should also expect that Jesus will pray for our faith not to fail. We will endure hardships of all kinds, yet those hardships will draw us closer to Christlikeness as they strip away our self-reliance. The end result is a stronger, more Christ-dependent believer who makes a bigger impact for the Kingdom of God.

This entire thought is is stark contrast to the "health, wealth, and prosperity" message being preached at so many "successful" churches today. Below are John Piper's thoughts on these sorts of messages...and he pulls no punches and even loses some of his normal eloquence in the emotion of the moment.

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