Chaos can be confusing and distracting, drawing us away from God’s purpose in our lives. Chaos can become overwhelming and discouraging, threatening to destroy our destiny as kingdom citizens. On the other hand…

Chaos can be used by God to clarify and concentrate our focus, while empowering and encouraging us for kingdom assignments – the good works God created for us to walk in (Ephesians 2:10). God intends for chaos to draw us closer and transform us into the image of His Son’s glory.

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 3:18

Consider the ugly, leaf-bound, and leaf-eating caterpillar who metamorphoos into a beautiful, free-flying, and nectar-eating butterfly (the Greek for transform is metamorphoo). Dying to his old way and form, the caterpillar becomes a glorious new form of God’s creation.

Similarly, God will use the chaos of this decade to dramatically transform the individuals, families, and fellowships who keep their eyes focused on the Lord and their minds set on things above. The Holy Spirit waits for God’s people to submit to His transforming – metamorphoo’ing – work.

Recognizing that transformation comes by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2), we offer here a tool which will help every Christian think rightly about the chaos God allows and creates.

Before we begin, it is important to set our minds on using this tool prayerfully. Think of it as a conversation starter and a framework for capturing what you hear. DO NOT reason your way through it.

Process Locator Tool

God has a way for everything, including the way He maximizes chaos in our lives. Recognizing that He uses chaos to transform us into the image of the glory of His Son, we look to His process for our transformation – found in Psalm 37:1-7.

The key here is finding one’s place in the process (and the place of those you are leading), so you can begin to ask the right questions (and help others to do the same). Take your time; let the Holy Spirit guide you.

Psalm 37 is one of my favorite chapters in all of the Bible. It is filled with vast amounts of insight and instruction for our spiritual maturity; more than we can cover in this article. Therefore, we will limit ourselves to a few chaos related highlights as we step through the transformation process it describes.

Step 1

1 Do not fret because of evildoers,
Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.
For they shall soon be cut down like the grass,
And wither as the green herb.

The chaos will have enough worries of its own; there is no need to bring along unnecessary frets and envies. We must find the peace of God that transcends all understanding. God’s prescription for peace can be found in Philippians 4:4-7. And here are some good conversation starters:

  • Father God, please show me where I am fretful or anxious.
  • Where has the root of envy found its place in my life?
  • Empower me to see all things with a heavenly perspective (Ephesians 2:6).

Step 2

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.

Verse three describes the foundation required for successful navigation through the chaos; a good step for periodic review. Psalm 139:23-24 invites God’s inspection of our foundations.

  • Lord, do I trust you to guide and protect me in every area of my life?
  • Am I committed to the good work Your Father has created for me to walk in?
  • Have I surrendered as I should to Your reign (the New Covenant “land” is the kingdom of God)?
  • Please remind me of the times You have been faithful in trial and trouble.

Step 3

Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

The Greek word translated as “delight” (anag) literally mean “to be soft” – like clay in a potter’s hands (Isaiah 64:8). As we surrender to His purposes for the chaos, God ignites the desires He has placed in our hearts, that He might give them to us, throughout the process and on the other side.

  • What area of my life have I failed to surrender?
  • What are the desires You have placed in my heart for this season and beyond?
  • Please stir these in me as affirmation and encouragement.

Step 4

your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.

Verse five is the center of the process and the step where God uses chaos to transform and mature us. Transformation is God’s work, by the Holy Spirit, and we must leave the work to Them. We must trust that the Father is working in us to will and to do to His good pleasure, which is to give us His kingdom (Philippians 2:13 and Luke 12:32).

  • Lord, what is your perspective on the chaos?
  • Where have fear and anxiety inhibited and polluted my perspective?
  • Please expose the deception and distraction tactics of my enemies.
  • Should I go back and settle matters with You in the previous steps?
  • Are there others I should be walking with through the chaos?
  • Father, what is your will and work for my transformation? Where must I die first?

Step 5

He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.

Verse six is, for the most part, the resulting final step in the transformation process. Our righteousness is Jesus Christ (1Corinthians 1:30); the light is the Father’s glory seen in the life of His Son through the good works we are being prepared to walk in (Matthew 5:16 and John 1:4). Furthermore, it is encouraging to note that God often glorifies Himself in the midst of our trials and suffering (i.e., during the chaos), so we should also look for His glory in step 4.

  • Father, what is the good work you have created for me to walk in?
  • Who am I to walk with?
  • Should I go back and settle matters with You in the previous steps?
  • Are there others I can help through the chaos?

Step 6

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.

Verse seven closes God’s instruction for the chaos with reminder and encouragement that, like no other god, He acts for the one who waits for Him (Isaiah 64:4). We must not be distracted by the prosperous and wicked. Our justice is in God’s hands (from verse six), and all will be set right in the end.

  • Holy Spirit, thank you for the patience to wait on Jesus and the Father to act.
  • Protect me from concern and worry over earthly things.
  • Keep my mind set on things above, where I am seated in Christ.
  • Are there others I can help through the chaos?

God will use the conversations prompted by these questions to locate our place in the transformation process, and communicate our next steps. For example, if someone is overwhelmed by the chaos, they should go back to verse three. Someone else may only need to back up to the questions of verse four to understand God’s desire for them in the chaos.

This brings up two very important points about God’s processes. First, skipping steps will only lead to frustration and discouragement; we must allow the Holy Spirit to process us in God’s way.

Secondly, while completing each step is important, we must resist the temptation to loiter around in newfound comfort zones. Our attitude should be one of patience and striving, waiting for God to act and then earnestly responding to His prompting.

A closing word to leaders: Tools like this one are for personal and corporate use… in that order. You cannot lead where you are unwilling to go yourself. Experience and testimony are powerful encouragements.

Furthermore, tools designed by men are not weapons; they are simply tools. Our weapons are supernatural: faith, grace, the fruit of the Spirit, the life of Christ. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds… (2Corinthians 10:4).

Tools like the Process Locator simply aide in our pursuit of God’s promises, positioning, and provision for the chaos. We pray that God will use it to bless you with understanding and long-suffering endurance for the chaos you will face.

Humbly yours and forever His,