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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Servant Who Leads

In summary of Luke 22:31-32 it says, "Simon, stay on your toes.  Satan has asked excessively that all of you be given up to him, to be taken away and separated from the power and keeping of God, that he might sift all of you like wheat.  But I have prayed for you in particular that you not give in or give out, that your faith may not fail.  So when you have repented and turned to me again, you will strengthen your brothers, establish them and give them a fresh start."

Bottom Line:
Simon stay alert, Satan wants to distract you, take you away, separate you from the power of God, sifting you like wheat.  But Jesus prayed that Simon would not give in or give up, that his faith would not fail.  So explained to Simon that after you have realize this sifting that you would repent and turn back to God again.  Then strengthen and encourage your brothers in their walk, remind them of the fresh start that can be realized when one repents and returns to God.

What this means to me:
This is a reminder to me that Satan is ready at any time to distract me and get me off course from following God and having the protection that comes from a close intimate relationship with God.  I too have a strong advocate (Jesus) praying that I would not give in / give up or lose faith.  This verse also reminds me that not if, but when I’m not alert and I allow myself to be drawn away, that I can repent of my waywardness and come back to God.  God is still in control and his presence inside me (his Spirit) is greater than our enemy Satan.  God wants me to encourage others around me when I see this happen to them or when they get too discouraged that a fresh start is always available (my own example) when we return to God.  It's likely the times of sifting probe my current weaknesses, revealing what’s really on my heart and in my thoughts.  I need to remember that it’s not in my own strength that I can resist and think differently, but with the strength that comes from him.  The sifting helps identify the distractions that are likely hindering me from fulfilling my purpose and allow me to refocus.  Overall, God wants me to survive the sifting and return stronger, with the purpose of strengthening my brothers.  In a sense, it’s like being a servant who will lead others.