Thursday, November 22, 2012

Satan Has Asked For You

By Chet Nowlen

I'm sure most all of my readers have heard that Jesus predicted Peter would deny knowing Jesus before His arrest and it happened just as Jesus said it would.  I've read the scripture below many times before, but I missed one very important statement Jesus said to Peter.  Notice Jesus said, " . . . Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat."  I remembered the phrase "sift you as wheat" but I missed the fact that Satan had asked for permission to attack Peter.  

Who had Satan asked for permission from, Jesus?  The Bible doesn't specifically say who he asked permission from.  It could have been Jesus or it could have been God.  We do know that Jesus knew about it and Jesus stated that He has prayed for Peter that his faith should not fail.  Did Peter's faith fail?  I think the way Jesus worded His prayer for Peter, Peter's faith did not completely fail.  Even though fear over powered Peter's faith three times and he denied Jesus three times Peter never rejected Jesus because he knew who Jesus was and his faith in Jesus was not shaken.

Jesus knew Peter would not depart from the faith and He knew Peter would come back to his senses and regain his courage again because that is what Jesus prayed to happen.  Why did Jesus pray for this to happen.  Jesus knew Peter would return to the faith and He prayed for Peter to strengthen the other disciples.  It happened just as Jesus had prayed.

Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial

31 "And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”
33 But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.”
34 Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.”

We have a natural tendency to look down on Peter's time of weakness and think to ourselves we would never deny Jesus.  The sad truth is we have all been guilty of denying Jesus when we fail to share Jesus with those we come in contact with, therefore we are just as guilty as Peter.  The good news is Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be our comforter, our counselor, our strength and our power.  Like Jesus' praying for Peter the Holy Spirit prays for us, to Jesus and to our Heavenly Father, to strengthen us in order that we may boldly testify to others that we know Jesus.

Lord, I pray for the opportunity to share my story of why I follow you to those you send my way.  I pray that your Holy Spirit will give me the words to speak as I share my faith.  In Jesus Name.  Amen