Jesus said, “Change your attitude and actions because an invasion of the Spirit is imminent” (Matthew 4:17 BCJ).
The Spirit of God has invaded this natural world with His power and His love. We can embrace that invading force and become a part of His plan to influence this generation. Our attitude determines how much of this invasion of the Spirit works in us.
Psalm 77 is a wonderful and clear picture of the kind of change that can happen in our attitudes. Asaph, who authored this psalm, was one of the chief musicians to David. He begins with some very common and confusing ideas about the trouble that faced him. In verses 1-3 he begins:
“I cried out to God with my voice—to God with my voice; and He gave ear to me. In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; my hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing; my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled; I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed” (NKJV).
In a time of trouble Asaph did the right thing and sought God. Yet, he refused comfort, was further troubled as he thought about God, complained, and became overwhelmed. He had the wrong perspective and it was costing him his help and his peace in God.
How does a person remember God and end up more troubled? Possibly by thinking about the things He has done for others and wondering, “Why hasn’t He done them for me?”
Asaph’s thoughts led to complaints about God and left him overwhelmed. Here is a prescription on how to be overwhelmed: face our troubles, focus on those troubles, think the wrong thoughts about God, and then begin to complain. We will find ourselves just as this man did—overwhelmed!
Asaph’s wrong thinking can be seen by the series of questions he asks:
“Will the Lord cast off forever? And will He be favorable no more? Has His mercy ceased forever? Has His promise failed forevermore? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies?” (vv. 7-9).
Each question points to God as the source of problems and does not make any reference to the need for Asaph to change. The most common failure in our quest to get help is to point to God as the source of our trouble. Jesus revealed God as our helper and our healer, not our source of trouble.
Asaph was completely confused about God. And these six questions seem to summarize every kind of misconception and position of unbelief. The Lord has answered these questions throughout the Bible. We must be diligent to guard our minds against these thoughts or we too will become overwhelmed.