I tremble as I write this. The Twitter conversation above happened just over an hour ago. I can’t shake it. Tear brim, but I fight them back else I become a puddle.
The core of sin is selfish narcissism. Believing I know better than God, believing my desire trumps all other considerations, and believing that a little sin won’t be that big of deal.
Sin asks what’s in it for me?
Advocacy gently states, “this one is more important…more important than me, more important than you. This one. This is the one that needs help, a hand, forgiveness.”
My heart trembles at the thought of the A21 campaign and its co-found Christine Caine traveling the world, preaching the gospel in churches, and then going to the docks, releasing captives from the horrific sex trade we don’t want to believe happens under our very noses.
The honest, bowed-kneed approach of Beth Moore as she proclaims Jesus, Redeemer of the broken. Her teaching points to Him alone. Humility in proclaiming her own unworthiness, her just-like-you-ness, and her pointing alone to Christ alone. Begging us to jump aboard, she points to the Light that redeemed her very soul.
And the tweeter who started this train of thought. I bought his book, Prototype, because it was all over Twitter with snippets and quotes pulling me toward it. The message was clear: Jesus is more than we realize, and our childlikeness is closer to Him than we know.
I joke that my life is so quiet, the NSA would be bored snooping around here. Moral perfection has been my goal, but I cannot say the motivation was always pure. Deep inside the “deal” I brokered with God was one you may know as well: if I do everything “right,” then You’ll give me what I want, right? In this picture, moral perfection serves as a checkbox on the path to my own selfish desires.
But if Jesus, the One Who knew no sin, was morally perfect became advocate for all, then maybe we’re missing the definition of morally perfect. If morality is doing the right thing at the right time…if Jesus was perfect (and He was)…and if the ultimate resurrection promotion was to the seat of advocacy before the Father…we, my friends, missed the point.
Moral perfection must not be about spotless church attendance, the number of blood donations, the gifts and offerings put in the passed bucket. If Jesus’ final reign is brought forth by this time of His advocacy for others, what are we doing?!?
Are we advocating for those around us? Are my prayers focused on bringing people to Him? Drawing others closer to Him? Or are they centered on me? Am I more concerned about God’s provision for me? Or is God’s provision for someone else reigning prominent in my requests for help?
If I set myself aside…
If I believe that putting the other before myself is the kingdom of God…
If I believe that God is watching…
If I believe that prayer makes a difference…
And if I know my eternity is secure…
Then why am I not before the Throne, begging and pleading on behalf of the one who is not yet there?
Why am I so immune to the suffering of others?
If I truly believe what I claim to believe, my life should be marked with far more solitary conversations with women at the well, with welcoming the hated man out of the tree and inviting myself over for dinner, with pouring myself out on the feet of the One Who has forgiven so much in me.
If God is Who He says He is, and if I believe what I say I believe, then “advocate” should be the easy descriptor of my life.
Redefining moral perfection as the picture of Christ’s advocacy may very well transform Sunday school classes, the children in them, and the world before us.
For whom will you advocate? Who will you love more than yourself, bringing them before the Throne of the One who loves them even more than you ever can?
May my life be marked by the advocacy of Christ. May His shadow of pleading my case be the example for me advocating for another. For I have been forgiven much. How can I not cry out on behalf of another?