Recently, we wrote about Suffering’s Role in Overcoming Our Flesh – how God uses suffering to drive a wedge between our spirit man and our flesh. You may recall that suffering exposes the character of our flesh (whiny, self-centered, blame-shifting, etc.) while at the same time encouraging us, as born-of-God spirit beings, to turn to God for comfort, endurance, and direction.

In the same way, the chaos we will continue to face through much of the 2020s is intended by God to drive a wedge between our spirit man and the world. The individuals, families, and fellowships who choose God’s way through the chaos will enjoy His grace and glory. Sadly, others will allow the chaos to further conform them to the world.

So, how do we join God in the process and help others do the same? The answer can be found in a few familiar passages.

Trust in the LORD, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:3-4

Separation from our flesh and the world begins with trust in the LORD – for His grace and faithfulness in the process (Step 1). It will help to know that “the land” is His kingdom, and “delight” means to be soft (i.e., surrendered to His molding hands). The LORD owns the process and knows best how to apply it to His people.

Furthermore, the LORD puts His desire for separation into our hearts. These heart ties draw us into His presence and love, and sustain us when separation from our flesh and the world becomes difficult and painful. The Holy Spirit patiently waits for us to invite Him to stir up the desire of our heart for separation unto the LORD (Step 2).

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1-2

Encouraged and motivated by our heart tie with God, we come to offer our entire being for His use (Step 3). This offering does not include our flesh, but only that which is holy (i.e., our spirit man). That does not mean the sacrifice will be without pain. The consuming fire of God will purity us for His use. We must be willing and prepared for the required chaos and suffering (Step 4). We must set our mind on things above and serve from a heavenly perspective (Step 5).

Romans 12:2 reminds us that the world and our carnal mind must be actively and aggressively resisted (Step 6). Victory comes “by grace … through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God…” (Ephesians 2:8). However, we are responsible for hearing and obedience to the faith of God’s word (Romans 10:17; 16:26). God provides several disciplines for navigating the chaos.

Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2Corinthians 3:16-18

Our flesh and the world offer innumerable carnal means and methods for navigating the chaos we will face in the 2020s – all compromising deceptions (i.e., veils) that separate us from God. For those born of God, there is only one Way, Truth, and Life. He is our Lord, Jesus Christ. Our liberty is found only in Him, His Spirit, and the grace of His Father. We must reject carnal means and methods (Step 7).

Our heads have been placed on our bodies facing the direction we most often move to generally keep us from hurting ourselves. Navigating the chaos requires our full attention. We must avoid looking back at the flesh and world left in our wake; if necessary (and it often is), let us grieve and get on with it (Step 8). Additionally, the current and ongoing distractions of our whiny flesh and the hedonistic world must be ignored (think spiritual blinders; Step 9).

Thankfully, we have only to look upon the One who has won our hearts (Step 10). His glory is captivating to all who will become His wife. Beholding His glory, we are transformed by the Holy Spirit and separated from the world.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace (Helen Howarth Lemmel)

In closing, let us recognize that 2020 has been a time of preparation for the church of our Lord, Jesus Christ. God’s desire has been the separation of our spirit man from our flesh and the world. Those who continue to resist will find themselves further bound and conformed. There is still some amount of time – who knows how little – to begin allowing the chaos and suffering to do God’s work. But we best get on with it.

Again, this applies to both individuals and groups of all sizes. In fact, facing chaos and suffering alone is both perilous and unnecessary. Wars are best fought in platoons; there are no Lone Rangers in the body of Christ. So, find (or form) a small fellowship who will commit to God’s desires for the chaos (Step 0). Let me know how I can help. In the meantime…

God bless you with focus unto the One who will lead you though the chaos and suffering, down the difficult road that leads to eternal life.

Humbly yours and forever His,


P.S. The passages referenced above were selected from larger segments of Scripture which should be studied along with them for greater spiritual context and deeper encouragement and edification (e.g., Psalm 37:1-8). Let the Holy Spirit guide you in your study and sharing with others.