“How did I get here?” I heard my friend ask. His world was literally shredding around his feet—wife, kids, and his sanity. I thought of Jesus’ words to Simon Peter. “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” (Luke 22:31-32 NKJV).
What does Peter do? He quickly denies the truth of Jesus’ words. But the Lord’s gaze penetrates Peter’s heart and He sees his struggle with pride and self-sufficiency. He knows Peter’s real problem is a heart issue. Peter’s delusional thinking has clouded his reality, and he has believed Satan’s lies: I’m okay. Jesus and I are buds! We’re tight! I can take care of myself. However, truth will very soon slap him in the face. How did he get there?
I enjoy baking, and I have a sifter that I’ve had for forty-five years. Slightly bent out of shape and no handle, it still works great. Sifting separates the clumps from the rest of the flour mixture. The clumps are either crushed or thrown away. I would not want to be a clump. Then there was the time I dropped a five-pound canister of flour, and it exploded in the middle of my kitchen floor. I wiped up white dust for weeks.
Satan sought to destroy Peter and prove to the world that he was nothing more than chaff to be thrown away. Jesus saw the wheat, the good in Peter. Even though Peter hit bottom (a dreadful place to be), Jesus still desired to use Peter’s life to glorify Him.
I have learned over the years that Satan is enormously subtle. Almost invisible and undetected, he tries to squeeze his big ugly toe into the screen door of my life. He is also very patient. He doesn’t care how long it takes him; he just wants in. The only defense I have against him is the Word of God. A daily and balanced diet of God’s Word and time spent in His presence will reveal and expose that big deadly toenail from hell before it turns into a full leg, which makes it much more difficult to slam the door shut.
The cure for “How did I get here?” is truly humbling myself before God and true repentance—more than just an “I’m sorry.” It is a heart issue. It is a spiritual issue. We must go back to the place where we left God, and we will find Him there.
Now is a good time to pray.