Pearl Harbor was a horrific event in history. Taking place on American soil, December the 7th of 1941, it transpired as Japanese bombers flew over, dropping bombs on the naval base and destroying all types of ships and aircraft. But, if the military had heeded warnings, the entire event could have most likely been prevented.
Radar technology indicated that aircraft were moving towards the base, but military leaders took for granted it was American soldiers returning and not a foreign enemy. In addition, an American Destroyer was making practice rounds and perceived a Japanese submarine. They even fired shots at it, but nothing transpired. So they went on with life, as usual, having no idea the horrific events that were about to happen moments later.
Several warnings occurred before Pearl Harbor’s destruction, yet senior naval leadership and soldiers anticipating weekend furloughs overlooked them. Many historians believe the only reason the event took place is that no one within Pearl Harbor’s administration believed it could! How could they miss it so badly? How did they not see the warnings?
Yet as we read through Scriptures, we are repeatedly given warnings that we ignore and look over!
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full. -John 10:10
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. - 1 Peter 5:8
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. -1 Peter 5:8
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. -2 Corinthians 10:4
Straightforwardly, Jesus tells us that we have an enemy. Likewise, over and over again, we are told in the New Testament that spiritual warfare is raging perpetually throughout time and space. Yet, we seem content to ignore the warning signs and the unseen battle.
You can't just ignore the enemy; you have to resist the enemy. He will attack!
Simon Peter's life is an excellent example of what happens when we ignore the warning and don’t formulate a resistance against the enemy’s attack.
And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you that your faith should not fail, and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and death.” Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.” -Luke 22:31-34 (NKJV)
Jesus tells Simon Peter there will be an attack but notice that Jesus does not say that He will prevent the attack. Instead, Jesus only states that He will pray for Peter in the middle of the challenge. This event is powerful, and we need to understand that just because we have accepted Jesus as our Savior – and He loves us – this truth does NOT mean we will never come under attack.
Jesus tells Simon Peter, the enemy will sift him, meaning he will be churned and shaken. But, even as Jesus is telling Peter the enemy will sift him, Peter continues to struggle with his pride, brushing Jesus off with overconfidence. But Jesus rebukes Peter by telling him he will deny Him.
It can be very unpleasant when the enemy comes into our lives, and we experience this shaking effect. So many of you are going through this experience right now. It feels like your life is being churned, stirred up, and shaken by the enemy. Sifted. (I would venture to say that the Church as a whole from 2020 forward has been in a period of sifting!)
If you’re not familiar with the term sifting, Bonappetit.com explains it as “an action done to promote consistency in recipes by removing the large particles that could potentially result in a baked good sinking in the middle.”
“Sinking.” An interesting word considering who we are referencing! (See Matthew 14.) But, just like God allowed the sifting to take place in Simon Peter's life, He allows it to happen in our lives too. The sifting removes parts within us that are not of Him. More specifically, it removes anything prone to sink!
You won’t break during the sifting; you will become spiritually stronger!
For many of us, because of the last two years, our relationship with God is presently more vital than it’s ever been. The pandemic itself has been nothing more than a sifting in your life. And, now we are entering a period in Church history when the hot are getting hotter, and the cold are getting colder. But, thankfully, there are people like you that continue to seek God with fervency! So, press onward and upward, allowing everything that can be shaken to be shaken so that which can not be shaken will be all that remains!
I invite you to view this message in its entirety at this link: https://youtu.be/6bd3yscBYWw
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