Have you ever sifted anything through a sieve, colander, screen, or filter?
The goal is to separate the wanted from the unwanted, right? The goals is to purify or refine.
In YOUR sifting, what will remain?
Do you know what it means to be sifted?
I get so excited when it’s time to prepare meals, especially those that I get to share with others. While preparing meals for my immediate family is important, knowing that others will enjoy what I have prepared is especially important to me.
As I prepared our meal for the 4th of July festivities, I took special care over a two day period to make sure that everything would turn out perfectly.
There were two dishes in particular that required the ingredients to be sifted through a sieve. I don’t typically run these ingredients through one, I just rinse them out. But in order to make sure that the recipe turned out the way I wanted it to, I took special care to read the directions and to follow them exactly as they were written. This required a sifting, to remove any elements of impurities that would, least of all contaminate the results. Most importantly, those impurities that would prevent the finished product from becoming what I needed it to become; a dish worthy of sharing with others.
Okay, What’s a Sieve?
A sieve, by definition, is an instrument with a meshed or perforated bottom. It is used for separating course from fine parts of loose matter, for straining liquids, etc. (www.Dictionary.com)
In preparing this feast for my family and friends, I couldn’t help but think about Hebrews Chapter 12. In this entire chapter, Jesus is encouraging the Hebrews to
“let us rid ourselves of everything that gets in the way, and of the sin which holds on to us so tightly, and let us run with determination the race that lies before us.” (Hebrews 12:1 GNT)
For many of us the decision to run the race that God has attached to our appointed task will require us to get rid of the weights that hinder us from running forward. Those encumbrances that load us down as though a ball and chain were attached to our ankles. So often, God will prompt us to throw down those weights through a shaking. When things begin to get shaken up, we feel a sense of being “out-of-sorts” or we may experience inner turmoil, and we wonder why these things are happening to us.
Allowing God to “shake us” is a form of sifting, where we are taken through a sieve and given the opportunity to filter out those things that we have no use for in our lives. Those impurities, imperfections, old belief patterns, the residual effects of former painful experiences that have developed scars that are no longer needed to protect us from future pain. All the things that once we shake and run through our proverbial filters, allows us to be used by God in a much more powerful way.
Lift up your tired hands, then, and strengthen your trembling knees! Keep walking on straight paths, so that the lame foot may not be disabled, but instead be healed. (Hebrews 12:12,13 GNT)
God is encouraging us to not grow tired on our journey, but to be whole, no matter how difficult it may seem. It’s not easy to keep walking on straight paths when you are dragging a lame foot that is disabling you.
What is representing a lame foot for you?
Is it an excuse as to why you are not walking in line with God’s assigned task for your life? You know, those reasons we convince ourselves as to why we can’t;
I’m too tired,
I work too hard,
There are too many things on my plate,
I don’t have anyone to help me????
Yes, these are all excuses. Excuses prevent us from picking up that sieve and using it for its intended purpose–to clear away the impurities that keep us from being who God needs us to be.
When we decide to FINALLY take the steps necessary to be used by God, we will go through a sifting process. At that time, we will have to be willing to let go of those things that fall through the filter. Those things that are no longer needed. Not until then will we realize that we didn’t need those things as much as we thought we did and that what God has in store for us is so much better than anything we could have possibly imagined.
My Personal Journey
I am personally going through a “sifting process” and allowing God to work in my life like never before. You know what I have realized through this process? That God has been waiting for me to let go of a lot of things for a very long time; those things that require my submission to Him so that He can now use me.
Not the way I thought He wanted to use me, but the way He wants to use me. This realization is far better than anything I could have done on my own. The longer I waited, the crazier the shaking. I had to be sifted. More importantly, I had to be willing to go through that sifting process.
Are you tired of the shaking?
Are you beginning to understand the reason for the shaking? Then begin the sifting process. Consider the things in your life that may need to be sifted, or filtered out in order to bring you to that place where God can use you. He will take everything that you have experienced and convert it in a way that contributes to your ability to be used by Him.
Be careful, then, and do not refuse to hear him who speaks (Hebrews 12:25 GNT)
Not sure Where to Begin?
Start by asking God to speak to you. Take the time to hear Him. Dedicate time to reading His Word, sitting quietly in His presence and letting him know how important He is to you.
Once you make Him a priority, above all else, as I have done, He will begin the sifting process for you so that you can begin to heal; healing that is required in order to be used by Him in ways that you cannot possibly imagine.