“My little children, I am writing these things to you
so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin,
we have an advocate with the Father,
Jesus Christ the righteous.”
1 John 2:1
I’ve had a bad case of the funk lately. I’ve been disconnected with God and can’t seem to get things going right. Until last night when I finally got alone with God, me and my bible. As I hoped, the Spirit opened up my eyes to scripture. It didn’t take long at all to be flooded with the love of my Father.
I’m not sure what the deal is about this funk business, but I know I’m not alone. It happens to all of us. Stinking thinking, some would call it. That’s pretty accurate because nothing quite lines up with the knowledge of God (2 Cor. 10:5). My flesh is part of this, knowing that my heart still has big problems.
But you know what? I am wrong when I think I must change all this on my own, that I must do this or that to right my attitude ship. That’s what I have been doing, and my results showed. Last night was different. I resolved myself to let the power of the gospel do its job. It’s really amazing how I forget this. I don’t like being in a funk, yet it would seem that I don’t want to leave it. Anyway, the gospel is what sets us free.
Here’s what I did. I started writing down stuff and the related scripture.
Jesus is my rest! Matthew 11:25-30, Psalm 23
Jesus forgives me! 1 John 1:9
Jesus is my advocate! 1 John 2:1, Romans 8:34
The Holy Spirit Intercedes! Romans 8:16, 26
I am God’s son! Romans 8:16, Galatians 4:6
I am TIGHT with God! John 17:13, John 10:28-30, Ephesians 1:13-14
From the Beginning! John 15:16, Ephesians 1:4, 1:3-14
For all Eternity! 1 Thessalonians 4:17, John 14:2, Matthew 25:34
Jesus will Heal me! Philippians 1:6
Jesus will Protect me! Psalm 91:14
I just simply read the words and let them wash over me. Slowly, word by word. 1 John 2:1 is the one that really snapped me out of my doldrum. Now, that section can be a bit of a downer for me because it speaks of keeping Jesus’ commandments, and that is exactly what I have been struggling with. Note what I wrote – “what I have been struggling with.” “I” is the key word. The bible is full of paradigms. On one hand, I am to struggle. On the other, my efforts are intended (by God) to fail me. I must work out my salvation, yet Jesus is the one who sanctifies me. There seems to be something really deep about this that I must dig into. Here’s the verse that I think is the springboard:
Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
“The law of the Spirit” is very interesting to me. You’ll be hearing more about this in the days to come.
Anyway, that is a side note. What really changed my day was the verse at the top of this post, particularly the word, “advocate.” Now, I’ve always looked at that in context of the following verse in which John describes Jesus as the “propitiation” for our sins, as in salvation. I haven’t really considered it as post-salvation – until I looked up the definition of the word “advocate.”
Noun. A person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy.
Verb. Publicly recommend or support.
Hmmm. Publicly recommend or support. Publicly recommend or support.
Adverb. So as to be seen by other people; in public.
Couple things to consider in all this. First, who do you know that publicly supports and recommends you? Oh, sure, your mom loves you, and you may have a couple good friends who say good things about you, but is that the same as publicly recommending and supporting? As in out loud?
Stop to think about this. This is scripture. It is true. Jesus alone is truth. Jesus publicly supports and recommends me. He intends others to know about it. He tells it out loud for all the world to know. He is certainly not ashamed of me. In fact, he recommends me! And you!
Can you wrap your mind around that? Here I am all twisted up because of my diet, and Jesus is publicly supporting and recommending me. Certainly, my mind is caught up in places it shouldn’t be. I need to be listening to what Jesus has to say about me! I need to be listening to what he is telling the world about me!
The thing that is crazy is that it’s not about ME, it’s about what he thinks about me. What is it that he’s telling others? Well, you can dig into the rest of the verses that I have listed. That will give you a good start.
Now, I want to add just one more thing. Jesus isn’t the only one on my side. No, he’s not. There is another one of the Godhead that is pulling hard for me, too!
Romans 8:16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.
v. 26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
Jesus is interceding for us, too:
Romans 8:34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died – more than that, who was raised – who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
Here’s the definition of intervene:
verb. Come between so as to prevent or alter a result or course of events.
There is one last word that we need to define today.
Verb. Express complete disapproval of, typically in public; censure.
Here’s that word public again. Jesus is advocating and interceding for us. He is putting himself out there for all to see so that he might prevent or alter the course of my life. Yes, this happened at my salvation, but this is something Jesus is continuing to do for me. As in today, right now, and for all the days I walk on this earth in this body of flesh.
That’s who I am in Christ. No one is able to condemn me; not even me. So, the self-defeating words I say are meaningless. They can only affect my mood. They have nothing to do with what Jesus has decreed to be true.
Yes, I did have myself in a funk, but guess what? He will even use that for my benefit.
Romans 8:26-30 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
Predestined, called, justified, and glorified. Me. You. All who believe. Imagine that, will you?
Father, what a way you have, leading me around to you! Amen!
Copyright © 2019 Scott Powers