There is a big difference between pruning and sifting. The Lord prunes, but the devil sifts.
“…Every branch in me that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit” (John 15:2). “
…Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat” (Lk 22:31).
The key to being pruned and not sifted is to keep your eyes on Jesus. When your eyes shift, the glory will lift, and your life, the devil will sift.
Your life and vision will be clouded with a kind of driving ambition and ego that is restless instead of restful. Tests and trials have both a divine and demonic purpose. The demonic design of every test and trial is to take the focus of every believer off Jesus and pull them out of that high and holy place of abiding in the Lord.
I will say it again so you can remember it: The Lord prunes but the devil sifts. Only a believer given to the Spirit will recognize the difference. A spiritual person will yield to the pruning, but resist the sifting.
The following is a spiritual utterance which instructs us on the reversal of the sifting process. Let it teach and admonish you.
LIFTED OR SIFTED
“The glory is manifested where God has called you to be. The glory manifests in the one whose position and posture is one of abiding. Your life, the plan of God, the ministry, and the gifts God has placed in you will manifest and blossom to a much greater degree, and in a more frequent manner when your eyes are on Me.
The lifting begins when you seek God for who He is, and you wrap yourself around Him. The lifting continues as you cleave diligently to the Lord and draw away from man’s wisdom and ideas.
The opposite is true also. You shall be sifted when your motives are wrong and your eyes are off Me and on man. The sifting begins and continues when you seek things instead of God.
It’s important you be whom I’ve called you to be (calling), where I’ve called you to be (location), and when I’ve called you to be (timing). But realize it is only Me who can place you there. It’s only Me who can make you fruitful.
When you are frustrated, anxious, and eager to do something else that usually means that your eyes are off Me unless you’re being stirred in your spirit to another step I’d have you take. But even then, if you’re walking in the Spirit, you will never be frustrated or anxious about anything.
You cannot rest when you’re being sifted because you’re operating out of your soul. Many things bother you when you’re in this state, but when you’re in the Spirit nothing bothers you. You are in a total and absolute rest.
Labor to maintain and stay in that rest. It’s a place of victory. It’s a place of refuge where the enemy cannot sift you and wrap himself around you. The enemy fears this rested state because it’s a place of faith. When you are in a rest, know that your shield of faith is up.
When you feel frustration, unrest, and anxiety, know that you are a good target for the enemy because your shield is down. When you are in a state of rest and abiding you are lifted above your enemies. Your spiritual discernment is much keener and the voice of the Lord is heard.
Yea, know that it’s in this rest that you place yourself in a position to hear Me. So enter into that rest by seeking Me and building yourself up by praying in the Spirit, meditating on My Word, and worshiping Me. Then your way shall be made clear as you draw near to Me. My way for you shall be exalted in your spirit and there will be a knowing there of certain things.
There will be an assurance unshakeable which no one will move you from. You will know My plan and My will. There will be no guilt or condemnation, insecurity or uncertainty.
Yea, there shall be assurance. There shall be identity in Me. Yea, you shall know your place and your function. You shall know My plan and My purpose. And your heart shall be free and glad, and rejoice.”