I Have An Advocate!
Have you ever felt accused?
I’m not talking about being accused by a person, but by the enemy of your soul? Has the enemy ever come and bombarded your mind with thoughts of shame, guilt, or condemnation?
He spouts his lies and points his finger straight at your sin. And asks questions that mock the salvation of God: “How will you ever be free of this?” or “What can you do about this sin?”
I am talking about condemnation and words that tempt people to drown in despair—accusations that make people want to slip into a pit of sadness and hopelessness over how broken they are.
The other day I felt this kind of accusation.
I remember where I stood in my house, when I began to wage war over my heart. Suddenly I began to hear myself speak to the one who accused my soul, “Yes! I can be selfish and it is much worse than you say…”
As I met my accuser, I looked up to a perfect God – the one who made an end to my sin—and I began to boast in my weakness.
The truth about me, is that I am broken. The Bible describes me without God as one who is “dead in trespasses and sins.” It talks about me as one who follows the course of the world and as one who follows the evil spirit who works in those who are disobedient to God. (Eph. 2:1-3)
The truth about me is that my heart is deceitful. I don’t always choose to walk in the way God commands. And If I can be honest enough to agree with how the Bible talks, I can say with the psalmist “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you” (Psalm 16:2).
While the world might laugh and say, “I think you are pretty good.” The truth is that all of my best tries and good intentions are like some of the ripped up, dirty, smelly, dish rags in my kitchen. My righteousness is filthy rags before a holy God.
But knowing the truth about me doesn’t make me feel hopeless, because the truth about God is that he loved me first.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” –Ephesians 2:4-8
So when my accuser comes and tells me how awful I am, I look up and say. “Yes! And it is much worse than you say… but look at Christ.”
He came when I was completely dead. I had nothing to give him. I was a hater of God. A rebellious one who loved sin. I had a black heart that was cold and angry.
And when I had my back turned to God and the pit of hell was inviting me home and grabbing for my life, He came. Jesus came and spoke over my dead body like he did to Lazarus- “Come out!”
Read Lazarus’ story…
Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” –John 11:38-44
Like Lazarus, I came out of a tomb. And when God spoke, my weak and broken life was born. Because God loved me, I was made alive and my heart could finally love. When God spoke to me, my heart began to beat. I began to see Jesus as beautiful. He is true.
Jesus made a way for me. When my sin ensnared me, he came. He spoke and set me free.
So when the accuser comes, and he does, I look to the one who adopted me into his family. I looked to the one who united me with Christ and who spoke over my dead heart.
I looked to Jesus—the one who lived a perfect life.
He had the same opportunity to sin as I did and the same enemy accuse him, yet he never failed. Like me he was threatened and tempted at a vulnerable time, yet he never sinned.
Where I have failed, Jesus did not. When I didn’t look to the word of God, He did. And my life is found in him. I am covered by the perfect blood of Jesus.
I can boldly say, “I am weak” and shout, “His blood is enough. His perfect life is enough.” My sin is before a Savior who forgives me and offers me grace. What can the accuser say to me when I have an advocate who is Christ?
I turn my eyes to the one whose kindness leads me to repentance. I turn my gaze to the one who welcomes a sinner home. I look to Jesus “the author and perfecter of my faith”—Hebrews 12:2.
What I am learning reminds me of this old hymn!