SDA Sabbath School Lesson 12

Sunday December 15, 1996

What The Shaking And Sifting Are

(Luke 22:31,32).

From the Memory Text for this week, we learn that God sifts through our lives to separate us from all dross. Who else does a sifting work and why? Luke 22:31, 33, 34. What is Christ's counsel regarding this sifting? Luke 22:40.

How confident Peter was! Do you know someone like him? Perhaps yourself? If someone is so emphatic about never doing a particular thing, that is often the act against which he or she must guard. Usually the seemingly most secure areas of a stronghold are left unprotected in order for the defenders to stabilize weaker areas. Thus it is not unusual for the enemy to attack at these secure areas. Our spiritual foe often attacks in this way.

"Pray that you will not fall into temptation" (Luke 22:40, NIV). The Greek word for "temptation" means "trial" or "test." If Peter had been more attentive to Christ's counsel to pray, he would have been given the strength to acknowledge his Saviour. Much of the shaking and sifting we undergo comes because we are too self-confident and complacent. What did Christ do for Peter that He will also do for us? Luke 22:32 (compare Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25). How does Christ's interest in our welfare enable us to respond? Heb. 4:14-16.

"I have prayed for you" (Luke 22:32, NIV)." What a comfort to know that the Master takes so personal an interest in the problems and temptations of us as individuals!" - SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5, p. 868.

If we value Christ's intercessory prayers for us and also pray in harmony with His will, Satan's temptations will only bring us closer to our Saviour until we are beyond Satan's reach. "From grateful hearts, from lips touched with holy fire, let the glad song ring out, Christ is risen! He lives to make intercession for us. Grasp this hope, and it will hold the soul like a sure, tried anchor. Believe, and thou shalt see the glory of God.".- The Desire of Ages, p. 794.

During the closing days of earth's history, the church and the world will be shaken mightily. How can you improve your prayer life so that you will not find yourself in Peter's position? How else can we ensure that we will not be shaken out of Christ's last day church?