Jesus Is My Advocate

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.
1 John 2:1-2 (NIV)

A few months ago, something happened in the news, and when I saw it, I just tuned it out. I wasn’t surprised by it, and it wasn’t worth the emotional toll of letting myself get caught up in the controversy.

Until a good friend wrote a long email about how much she personally felt hurt by what happened and how she was struggling to accept it.

All of a sudden, something rose up in me.

And now I was ready to fight. Protect. Defend.

NOW it mattered—because now someone I loved was hurt by it.

The advocate in me stood up and prepared for battle.

I wrote my friend a long and impassioned response and lifted her up in prayer—and was privately amused by my rapid turnaround in behavior. That day showed me something important about myself.

As I’ve learned about the enneagram, a personality typing system, it has given me insights into my own responses to situations and started teaching me how to change the things that I don’t like about myself. I know not everyone feels the same way, but I find it a handy tool to help me identify when my behavior is going off the rails and find a way to get back on track.

Also, I love the insights it gives me about God.

The Enneagram 8 personality (or Challenger) can have plenty of flaws—pride, judgment, and insensitivity that can lead to leaving people feel as though they’ve been run over. But there are good things, too.

Because one aspect of a Challenger is the tendency to advocate for those who do not have a voice or are unable to defend themselves.

So when I read this verse, something rose up inside of me in celebration:

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 1 John 2:1-2 (NIV)

Although I like to come to people’s aid when they’re hurting, the truth is I won’t always do what I need to do for myself when my faith is suffering, my prayer life is nonexistent, I’ve stopped reading or studying the Bible, and I’m just going through the motions. Throughout my adult life, I have watched God in those moments reach me in crazy and roundabout ways, often reminding me of words I had written that now applied to me.

Thinking about Jesus in this context reminds me of all the other times that He has been my advocate. When He has spoken to me in my grief. When He has called me to pray for others when I could no longer pray for myself—and in those moments, I have found my own faith again.

In my biggest moments of weakness and doubt, when I am stuck and don’t know what to do, Jesus has always been faithful to advocate for ME. And in the process, I’ve found my faith again. Click To Tweet

The dictionary definition of an advocate is “a person who supports others to make their voices heard, or ideally for them to speak up for themselves; to plead in favor of; to defend; to support.” How cool is that? To have our own personal advocate in the face of opposition and struggles we cannot handle on our own?

Paraclete, the Latin word meaning advocate in the Bible, commonly refers to the Holy Spirit.

This shouldn’t be a surprise, though, because of what Jesus promised us:

“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26 (NIV)

When I am faithless, He remains faithful (2 Timothy 2:13).

When I am weak, He is strong (2 Corinthians 12:10).

God does not expect me to face all of my battles alone.
God will provide what I need—and sometimes what I need is for Him to face the challenge not just with me but for me. In my place. Just as He did on the cross. Just as He has done my whole life. Click To Tweet

We are not alone in this walk, in this life—even if it feels that way at times. We have someone who mourns with us, rejoices with us—and defends us when we are unable to defend ourselves. Sometimes those battles aren’t external, but internal—so God’s battle plan may take the form of breaking through our own defenses so we can let Him in.

He knows us.

He knows the things others don’t know. He knows the things I haven’t even yet discovered about myself (as well as the things I want to pretend I don’t see about myself). And He will not let me be tripped up by them. He stands up and defends me. Eliminates my excuses. Challenges me. Encourages me. Gently, so gently, nudges me forward. Time and time again. Faithful, even when I am not. Especially when I am not.

Reflection Questions

Can you remember a time when you felt like Jesus advocated for you (made a way, knocked down obstacles, protected you, hid you)? Thank Him for who He is.

Make a list of some of your strengths. (Don’t be shy—just take an honest look at yourself, and believe that there ARE good things there.)

Look over the list. Are any of these things also characteristic of Jesus? Thank Him for those, and ask Him to help you become even more like Him.

Prayer

Thank You, Lord, for those little words and connections and nudges. For the epic battles You fight for me, even when I am naively unaware. For loving me and gently leading me back to You. For reminding me who You are and how You love. For being good, and true, and faithful. My protective and loving advocate, forevermore. Amen.

3 thoughts on “Jesus Is My Advocate

Jodie

Oh Kelly. I just love you. I know Jesus advocated for me when Ryan was killed. It is the only explanation for the peace, strength, and joy, that I experienced. I am so thankful that He doesn’t leave us to fight our own battles.

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Cindy Krall

Kelly, I love the way your post helped me recollect a truth I too often forget. Jesus has absolutely fought many of my battles. What confidence that gives me for the future! As always, thank you for being vulnerable and sharing from your heart.

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Jean

Kelly, so appreciate your words of compassion and of faith. God has indeed been with me through the rough times when I knew He was there, just not knowing exactly what I was to do…JUST PRAY were the words I heard Him speak. Sure enough…He was right…thank you for your faithful words. 😘
Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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