The Advocate verses the accuser
In the war of the Advocate verses the accuser we find something very interesting. The accuser stands before God to accuse us (Revelation 12:10), but God sent the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, to dwell within us. (John 14:26 NIV). Shouldn’t the advocate be in front of the same judge the accuser stands before? Why then would the accuser be standing before God, but the Advocate is within us? There are translations that render the Holy Spirit in this verse as our Comforter and helper, to which I don’t disagree one bit, but this idea that He is our advocate too, that’s pretty encouraging to me. Just to be clear, well kinda, our Advocate does stand before God for us and yet, He dwells within us. More on that later. For now, why the confusion between the Holy Spirit being the Advocate or the Comforter.
Let’s look at the Greek word in this Bible verse that some say is comforter or helper and other translations say advocate. The Greek word for comforter and helper is parakaleo which means:
Short definition: I summon, entreat, admonish, comfort
Definition: (a) I send for, summon, invite, (b) I beseech, entreat, beg, (c) I exhort, admonish, (d) I comfort, encourage, console.
parakletos par-ak’-lay-tos: an intercessor, consoler — advocate, comforter.
Who is our Advocate?
While we read this translation saying that the Holy Spirit is our Advocate, few will dispute that Jesus is our Advocate. (1 John 2:1) Incidentally, the word, parakletos, that is used in this verse for Jesus being our Advocate here, is from the same Greek for used for the Holy Spirit in John 14:26. I have no doubt that both are correct. They are one after all. I’m thankful to know that Jesus stands at the right-hand of God to intercede for us, as the accuser brings many accusations against us. I’m also thankful that we’ve been given the Advocate to dwell in us.
Why are we given the Advocate?
I believe that since Jesus stands at the right-hand of God as our Advocate, God not only hears our defense from Jesus, but also knows that Jesus paid the full price for all that the accuser brings against us. God sees the finished work in His Son and the issues are settled. God then, for believers in Christ, will cast our sins as far as the east is from the west, because of Jesus’ finished work. So, why then are we given an advocate? What do we need one for? I mean we are here and our defense is being handled for us in heaven, before God’s throne, by Jesus Himself.
The reason I believe we are given the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, to dwell within us is for our sake, not God’s. God knows we’ve had our sins paid for. God knows that He has faithfully cast aways our sins. God knows He’s already forgiven us. God remembers that we are redeemed and we, through Christ Jesus, have received all that is good and promised to us. But, while the accuser stands before God accusing us, he is also here, to torment us, to break us, to condemn us, to keep us in shame. Why?
The more we live in shame and condemnation, the less likely we are to stay in God’s presence. The more we stay away from God, the less likely we are to live out the lives that God intends for us. The less likely we are to live out the lives that God intends for us, the less likely we are to impact the world the way God desires to do it through us. The less we impact the world around us, the less likely we will be shining our light and pointing toward Christ. The less we point toward Christ, the less others will call on Him to be saved and the to follow and lean on Him. The less likely… you can see where this is going and you can see why it’s so crucial for the enemy to keep us in a place that is the most horrible place we can find ourselves, the pit of shame and condemnation, because it’s there that we will find that the negative thoughts we have about things we did or said, will breed into more thoughts over other actions and soon, it’s not just things we did, but who we are and who we will always be. This leaves us feeling absolutely unusable by God and right where the enemy wants us.
So, why do we have the Advocate? Jesus said it best, of course, because the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, will remind us and teach us all the things Jesus said and all that is still true. While God remembers we are redeemed, we are new creatures in Christ, we can forget and sometimes more than once a day. Some days it seems the accuser is working overtime, know what I mean?
Hope in the cross-fire
There is undoubtedly a fierce battle going on and often that battle is right in our own minds. Many wonderful ministers and teachers of God’s Word do a far better job than I do at explaining how our mind is the battlefield. In the midst of the battle that wages on in our minds, the condemnation and shame that like to hang over us like a pervading dark cloud, we get breaks in the cloud, through the voice of the Holy Spirit. He gently reminds us that though what we may have done or said wasn’t right, we can learn from it and God is faithful to forgive us for it. He will remind us, because we forget, that we are redeemed, we are new creatures in Christ and we are the righteousness of Christ. This gives us hope. We can begin to change the message we are hearing. We can unravel the lies we got caught up in about who we are. We are not what we do or what we say, but we are who God’s says we are through Jesus. While God never forgets we His beloved children and how much He loves us, we sure can. It’s so easy when we do something wrong to think God is made at us, that He hates us and that we need to not approach Him.
What to do when we mess up
We can go to God when we mess up. The hardest thing as a child to do when you messed up was to go to your parents, but what a relief it was when you finally did, right? God is far better than our loving parents ever were or could be. Our parents loved us no matter what we did, no matter how stupid it was or how angry they got and how can we expect God to do less than that?
I once told a very dear friend of mine that when I mess up, I don’t know who else to turn to but God. I not only turn to Him, but I feel I have to run to Him, even when I have trouble finding the strength to walk under the weight of shame and condemnation. Why? Who else will understand the things I do and understand me better than I understand myself? Who else can truly help me right my wrongs? Who else can comfort me as I once again get back up from yet another fall? Who will love me as perfectly as He does? How else can forgive me of my sins? There is no one better to go to than to God when we mess up. As much as my family and friends love me and I know they are there for me no matter what silly thing I do or say, there is no one like God and there is no one that can do what He can for restoring me after each fall. The healing power of His love, His grace and His mercy know no earth comparison.
So, when the enemy has you believing you need to hide from God, know my friend, that God already knows what you did, even before you did and He loves you anyway. You and I can’t earn His love by anything we do and for that I thank God, because the good news is there is nothing we can do to make Him not love us. The accuser is not only here to accuse you and shame you, but to keep you away from God with as many lies as he can find. Know that God loves you and there is nothing you can do to change that. Rest in His love and run to Him each time you fall, the way you used to run to your mom when you were little and fell. The falls hurt, but when you were in her arms, she always made it feel better. When we fall, if we run to the open arms of God, we will find, there is no comfort like His in this world.
Hope to overcome the accuser
The Holy Spirit was sent to us because we are the ones that need to be reminded, not God, of what the truth is in every situation for a believer in Christ. He reminds us that we are redeemed, washed cleaned, and righteous before God…no matter what the enemy says, because Jesus paid the price we never could.
Someone must be asking is this gives us a license to willfully sin? In the words of Paul, “God forbid!” If we do sin willfully, I don’t believe we’d be honoring God or the price Jesus paid for us. No, when we realize what price Jesus paid for us it makes us want to be better, more like Him, stay closer to Him and ever grateful He covers all our sins.
The next time the accuser speaks up, just tune him out as you tune into the still small voice of the Holy Spirit, your comforter and advocate. He is always with you, if you are a believer in Christ Jesus and He will teach you and remind you of the truth of God’s Word, the Truth of Jesus, our Christ and who we are in Him, through Him and thanks to Him. I’m glad God allowed us to have the Advocate with us, to drown out the lies of the accuser…if we will choose wisely which voice we listen to …the voice of Truth, the voice of God’s Spirit… all will go well for us. The accuser will speak again, he always does and probably is going off in your head as you’re reading this, but know that just because he has to speak, doesn’t mean you have to listen and it definitely doesn’t mean you have to believe a single. word. he. says. and that’s the truth! Praise God! Rest my friend, thanks to Jesus the scales have been found in your favor. No amount of accusations that the accuser can bring against you will ever out weigh the price Jesus paid for you.
God’s love and blessings to you,
Oh, before I go, here is a video and a book I want to share. The video inspired my post for today. It’s one video in a new series from Pastor Steven Furtick, from Elevation Church, sharing lessons from his newest book Crash The Chatterbox. I’ll be doing a review of his book soon. If you’d like to know more about his book now or would like to order it, you can click here or on the image below.
The premise of this video is sharing hope and words of encouragement in the midst of the shame and condemnation we can often feel. I pray this blesses you as much as it did me.