Advocate: (1) a person who speaks or writes in support or defense of a person, cause, etc. (usually fol. by of): an advocate of peace. (2) a person who pleads for or in behalf of another; intercessor.
In life, we often are in need of an advocate, or must even be our own advocate to authority.
My husband had rotator cuff surgery in May. He healed well and didn't need any physical therapy (PT), and retained full mobility. However, several month after surgery he began experiencing pain again. The surgeon suggested it was just inflammation, and urged icing and anti-inflammatory meds. My husband, a former Army ranger and not one to be wimpy, was certain something was amiss.
Advocating for himself, he head back to the doctor again. The doctor this time scheduled my husband for PT. My husband endured a couple of grueling therapy sessions and insisted the pain level was too much. He headed back to the dr again, this time advocating for a MRI which showed the surgery had in fact failed, and the muscle was completed severed from the shoulder joint. He had surgery to repair this yesterday.
Had my husband not been his own advocate, the doctor would have written it off as general pain and not have done the MRI. My husband had to advocate for himself to the authority (the dr) to be proven not guilty of being a wimp, but in fact having an injury.
Often times, we need an advocate in court...this one we hire (an attorney). This advocate presents our case to the authorities (the judge or jury) in hopes that we are found non-guilty.
We, too, need an advocate in our spiritual life. If we were to stand before God on our own and present our life to him, he would in fact say "GUILTY" of sin, and we would be sentenced to life...a life in hell. But we have an advocate. This advocate is Jesus, who stands in our place and presents his life to God, and God proclaims "NOT GUILTY" and we are set free from our sins.
On Earth we have another advocate. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit, his advocate to us. The Amplified Bible calls the Holy Spirit our intercessor, advocate, and strengthener. This is that little voice that says STOP when we are about to sin, or urges and encourages us to do the right thing.
Too many times in life we must be our own advocate, fighting for what is right with little or no support. I am thankful that I have a heavenly advocate who intercedes for me, so that even though guilty, I may be pardoned of my sins, to be free in Christ.
1 John 2:1 -- My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. (NLT)
Job 16:19 -- Even now my witness is in heaven; my advocate is on high. (NIV)
John 14:16 -- And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever. (Amplified Bible)