Are your heart and spirit "overwhelmed" today?
How can you know it?
What are the causes for such an oppressive state?
Prayerfully, this message will show you the way out of your condition.
Throughout the Scriptures, we find such terminology as - "...and my spirit was overwhelmed" (Psalm 77:3)... "...horror hath overwhelmed me" (Psalm 55:5)... "...when my heart is overwhelmed..." (Psalm 61:2)... "When my spirit was overwhelmed within me..." (Psalm 142:3) and "Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me..." (Psalm 143:4).
They describe a condition whereby an individual is - seemingly sunk under or crushed with the load of his burden...feeling overpowered, amazed, or confused by his adverse circumstances...entirely covered - as with a garment - with shades of darkness, despair, horror, calamity, and gloom... overcome by prevailing and tyrannizing fears... weary of life... spiritually exhausted or depressed... under great mental oppression...and growing faint and feeble - having no vigor, life, or spirit.
What causes such a condition of soul and spirit?
In Psalm 77:2-3, Asaph said - "In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed."
Here the Psalmist reflected on the justice, holiness, power, dreaded majesty, truth, mysteries, and incomprehensible dealings of the Almighty. These thoughts held his interest until he became so agitated, disquieted, and troubled. His soul became saddened while his spirit grew perplexed and overwhelmed to the point of speechlessness. Instead of bringing comfort, his reflection - of God's mighty acts or supernatural intervention in His people's lives in the days of old - only contradicted his present distress. In other words, if the Lord did great and mighty deeds back then, why isn't He doing it today in my situation?
In Psalm 55:3-5, David described his condition in this way -
"Because of the voice of the enemy..."
"...because of the oppression of the wicked..."
"...for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me."
"My heart is sore pained within me..."
"...and the terrors of death are fallen upon me."
"Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me..."
He is so full of anguish, fear, and horror...his spirit is like a worm writhing in pain...he twists and turns like a woman in travail...he is paralyzed emotionally and physically by the besetting fear of death that comes suddenly across his path...while the imminent danger causes his heart to faint and his body to tremble.
In Psalm 61:2, he portrays his dilemma with these words - "From the ends of the earth will I cry unto Thee..." At the time of writing this Psalm, he was situated in a remote and obscure part of the country - the land beyond the Euphrates - a place of which he was unaccustomed. This can very easily depict - metaphorically speaking - a state of despair, alienation, or spiritual distance from the Lord for the believer.
In Psalm 142:2-4, he explained his predicament in this way - "I poured out my complaint before Him; I showed before Him my trouble...In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me. I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul."
His heart was so full of his complaints, grievances, injustices, and injuries. The only way he found relief was when he took his troubles to the Lord in prayer.
What made matters worse was the fact that he was in the path of duty when he was attacked. At a time when he least expected danger, his enemy took him by surprise - set a trap to ensnare him.
Lastly, in Psalm 143:3, David depicted his oppressive state with these words - "For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead."
Here we see a picture of God's servant being hunted down like a wild beast...his life seemingly being trampled down, struck to the ground, and beaten small or crushed...leaving him feeling as one who has been abandoned by God and man...having no comfort or light of hope... obsessed with dark thoughts of melancholy and deep despair...feeling as though he lives in utter darkness - out of sight / out of mind - like those who have been dead for a long time.
As you read through these various depictions of desperation and hopelessness, were you able to relate in some measure? Do you presently find yourself in similar circumstances?
What do you do when your "heart within" is "desolate" or terribly discouraged (Psalm 143:4) - when you can find no sympathetic friend or are utterly destitute of comfort?
What did Asaph or David do?
David gave his answer in Psalm 61:2 - "From the end of the earth will I cry unto Thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I."
The one and only refuge and place of safety which is exalted above every and all enemies and troubles is the Rock - Christ Jesus. He is supreme over all. Hence, the Psalmist cried out for God to direct him to such a place of serenity and protection. Here, he tasted of the wonderful benefits of the Almighty's power and the fulfillment of His many promises.
Are your heart and spirit "overwhelmed" today?
Do you find yourself in a place of despair, alienation, or spiritual distance from the Lord?
Then call out for God - by His Grace - to lead you to the "Rock that is higher" than you, your troubles, and all of your enemies.
Jesus sits in the exalted place - ready to deliver you. However, there is one requirement. In order to receive your deliverance, you must let go of the earthly or mundane and take hold of that which is heavenly or spiritual.
Don't let anything hold you back - go higher in Jesus!
Let the things of this world grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace!