SIFTING AND SHIFTING
In January of this year the Lord gave me a word that there would be a sifting and a shifting. I knew that there were some things coming that would change our lives.
In Luke 22 during the last supper there was strife between the disciples as to which one of them was the greatest. Jesus told them that to be great you needed to be a servant. He then told Peter in v 31-32
“And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, that
Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”
To sift means to be put into a sieve and be strained through it. It would not be a pleasant thing for a person to be sifted, yet, it happens when we have the wrong attitude about servanthood.
The attitude of control and power is so prevalent throughout the body of Christ. Over the years I have been part of big churches and very small churches. I have worked with well known Pastors and those that no one had ever heard of. I have known well known leaders humble themselves and work alongside their church people without ever complaining, and I have seen others that thought themselves to be superior, and they were to be served by everyone. Without a servant’s heart, I can guarantee that sifting will come. Did it happen to those that didn’t have a servant’s heart that I worked with? Yes. It came, and some even died.
Sifting cleans the lumps out of our lives. Just like flour put through a sieve, it removes the impure particles that need to go so the flour is pure. Is sifting a bad thing? Well, it depends if you are the one doing it or receiving it. When God gave the word to me, I knew that things would change in the spiritual and the natural. Churches have been shut down during this “lockdown,” and it happened without firing a shot. Is it a good thing? For some, yes. I pray that those that are unable to meet with their people are taking the time to examine their call and pray for the fire of the Holy Spirit to be released in their lives. I pray that the sifting brings good results. If not, then their days may be over as leaders.
As for the shifting – well, we saw a big shift for the entire world when this “virus” was unleashed upon society. The actual coronavirus has been around a long time. Many people have probably had a mild case of it just like type A flu. Yet, it has shifted us into a time of either walking by faith or fear. This virus hit so suddenly, that it was like driving a car, and suddenly the gear slipped into neutral and no one could go anywhere.
Shifting is a good thing if it takes us back to the things of God. God has gotten our attention since He gave me that word in January. I believe that there are many natural shiftings soon to take place, including earthquakes and hurricanes and tsunamis, that will shift the axis of our earth. Then there is the shifting in the spiritual, where Judgement is here to shift us back to godly sorrow and repentance. How much shifting will it take? As much as necessary to bring the world to its knees. I see much more happening soon, worse than what we have been through.
The church for the most part has not been prepared to suffer. We have ministered in our air-conditioned buildings with our comfortable chairs. We have had “rock music” instead of Holy Worship. We have strayed away from what God originally wanted for “his” church, his body. The only thing that will change that is if we truly repent. Will it happen? I can’t say for sure that it will. The scriptures tell us clearly that in the last days there will be a “great falling away,” and I believe it is here. The Church as a whole has not stood up against a government that has taken away it’s constitutional rights to assemble. The majority have gone along with the “agenda”, following like blind sheep. Where are the true leaders that say no? Some have said no, and were arrested, and many came against them for making a stand. I wonder how the early church would have responded to the lockdown. I believe they would be like Peter and John when they were imprisoned for preaching and standing before the “religious” leaders of their day. They were commanded not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. Their answer was in Acts 4:19
“but Peter and John (both of them) answered and said unto them, ‘Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”
It didn’t stop them.
The sifting and shifting will continue unless there is true repentance, but sad to say, I don’t see it coming. Our nation through many of its governors and leaders have spit in the face of God with laws that call evil good and good evil. Judgement of a nation comes as a result of the leadership, whether it is good or bad. God has withheld judgement for a long time, but it is here now, and will remain until it serves His purpose.
So, what does a believer do when they know they are being sifted? You must examine your heart and ask God to show you where you have failed. Have you failed as a leader? Then repent and get back to your first love. Be transparent with your flock. Tell them you failed and ask for their prayers.
Is God shifting you into something different? Then yield to it and acknowledge that you want to follow Him more than follow your own plan. Then and only then will things change for you.