Your Advocate: Unveiling “Father Of Lies” Part 4

Do you ever feel spiritually lousy, like God is disappointed in you? Maybe you agree with those feelings, or perhaps you’re not sure why you feel condemned. You confessed every known sin, but like sticky spider webs, you can’t shake that icky feeling. Last week we looked at the A in the acronym DARTS, the Accuser. Now let’s see how our Advocate protects us when the Accuser pounces.

An advocate is a person who speaks or writes in support or defense of a person (dictionary.com). Jesus is our advocate who intercedes for us (Hebrews 7:25; Romans 8:34). God the Father’s affirming tone stands in stark contrast to the Accuser who wields the word “if”’ to throw us off balance.

Devil: “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down” (Matthew 4:6 NIV).

The Father: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased” (Matthew 3:17 NASB 1995).

We never have to prove ourselves to God. He knows His children by name, and He foreknew us before He chose us to be in His forever family (1 Peter 1:2).

Doesn’t Sin Push God Away?

But doesn’t our sin push God away? Yes and no. Sin is missing the mark. When we choose to disobey God, we distance ourselves from Him. But, like the father of the prodigal, our Father patiently prays for our return (Luke 15:11-24). Children, unlike pigs, eventually tire of the pig pen and miss the comforts of their Father’s care.

Even when we’ve messed up, God never condemns. Paul’s declaration, “There is now no condemnation…” (Romans 8:1) follows him having done what he didn’t want to do and the realization of sin’s power and work within him (Romans 7:15-25). Paul and every true believer has been born-again with a new nature that wants to please God. So what happens in heaven when we blow it and the accuser condemns us before God?

“But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.” (1 Jn. 2:1)

When we sin, the accuser wags his finger saying we’ll never change. We’re destined to fail. In contrast, the Holy Spirit gently corrects us and shows us the way out. While having a flaw pointed out never feels good, like a good coach, the Holy Spirit’s correction benefits us and glorifies Jesus!

“For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.” (2 Corinthians 7:10 NLT)

Notice the difference between the accuser’s condemnation and our advocate’s correction.

  • The Accuser: “You’re disgusting. You can’t do anything right.”
  • The Advocate: “You have spinach in your teeth. Here’s a toothpick and mirror. Let’s take care of it.”

The accuser says, “You are the problem.” He may be vague on what we did wrong. Even if he points out a specific action, he shames us without providing a helpful solution. This worldly sorrow isolates us from God and others and does nothing to promote healing restoration.

The Holy Spirit exalts Jesus in His correction.

  • “Here’s the problem, Let me help you with it” (Matthew 11:29Romans 8:1, 31).
  • He’s clear and specific. You know where you went wrong and how to move forward.
  • He provides the guidance, strength, and the desire to change (Philippians 2:13).
  • The Holy Spirit reminds us Jesus already paid for the sin He pointed out. (All our sins were future when Jesus died.)

Driving Citations and Sin Citations

My husband received a driving citation last year that hung heavy over him until it was taken care of. Afterwards, he smiled knowing he no longer had any citations on his driving record—not because he’s a perfect driver, but because his advocate had taken care of it. His smile broadened when he remembered, “I have no sin citations on my record! Jesus nailed it to the cross.”

“You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.” (Colossians 2:13-15 NLT)

Consider the following when icky accusations smother your emotions.

  • Is the path to restoration confusing, vague, or despairing? Or is it specific, clear, and hopeful?
  • Does this thought/feeling accuse and condemn me or advocate on my behalf?

God doesn’t give confusing thoughts. When the Accuser brings up your past, as someone said, “Remind him of his future!”

“Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.” (Romans 8:33-34 NLT)

Strength Builder: Larry took an online driving course while his defense attorney took care of Larry’s citation. (And I’m enjoying his more attentive driving style!) We can grow from our stumbles too. Embrace the Holy Spirit’s corrections as gifts to set you free from your sin and blind spots and make you more like Christ. Agree with God in your beliefs and actions. Refuse to participate in shaming, condemning thoughts. Remember, your Advocate is praying for you! Set your mind on Savior-focused, Christ-exalting thoughts. Read and meditate on 1 John 1:5-10.

Next week we’ll look at the trap of Rule-oriented righteousness.

Resources

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Do you ever feel spiritually lousy, like God is disappointed in you? Maybe you agree with those feelings, or perhaps you're not sure why you feel condemned. #advocate, #Jesus Share on X

Blessings,

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#InstaEncouragements, #TellHisStory, #Let’sHaveCoffee, #Grace&Truth

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. CJ

    Great devotional Debbie. I like your illustrations and examples showing the differences between an advocate and an accuser. This format for your devotional is the best yet. Glad you kept trying new formats.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, CJ. 🙂

  2. Ann Musico

    I am grateful beyond words for my Advocate!!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Amen! Me too, Ann.

  3. Ann B Johnson

    Great post, Debbie. Much enjoyed explanation between the enemy’s voice and the voice of our Advocate. I liked the example of Larry’s humility when he got the citation. He took the online course to help make sure it didn’t happen again.

    I really like your new format. It’s easier for me to read.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Thanks, Ann. I appreciate the feedback. The automated sending seemed to scrunch the blog into the email. I’m still figuring this out.

  4. Joanne Viola

    Debbie, we so need to remember to take note of the difference between the accuser’s condemnation and our advocate’s correction. The accuser puts distance between us and God while our Advocate makes the way to draw us near.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Well said, Joanne. Thanks so much for reading.

  5. J.D. Wininger

    There is such peace in knowing that in this age of grace, my Advocate stands ready to not only advocate to the Father on my behalf, but to help me to correct, grow, and learn His ways better. Loved this post, ma’am.

    • Debbie Wilson

      So true. What a wonderful Savior we have! Thanks, J.D.

  6. Yvonne Ortega

    Thank you so much, Debbie. I prefer your new format. I have been thinking about the accuser vs. my Advocate the past month.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      It’s wonderful to recognize the difference and know which one to listen to. Thanks, Yvonne.

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