The story is told of a Union soldier who needed a temporary military exemption to help his sick mother and little sister. He traveled to Washington, D.C., to personally make his request to President Lincoln. He wasn’t able to meet with Lincoln because of the levels of bureaucracy and security. In despair, he went to a nearby park and buried his head in his hands in bewilderment. A little boy approached him and asked, “Hey, soldier, you look sad. What’s the matter?” Spontaneously the soldier poured out his dilemma to the youngster.
Abruptly the boy said, “Come with me!” Amazed, the soldier followed as the boy led him by the hand to the White House, past the guards, and through the back door. The boy walked right into the president’s office without even knocking. There stood the president and the secretary of state looking over battle plans. The president looked up. “What can I do for you, Tad?” He answered, “Daddy, this soldier needs to talk with you!” The soldier was able to plead his case to President Lincoln and got the exemption he desired. Now, that’s advocacy!*
Advocacy is a powerful concept. What does advocacy look like for a Christian? It’s to deliberately support a position or cause according to one’s spiritual and moral standards. Christians intentionally advocate for something they discern as a genuine need that has spiritual depth, a basis in Bible principle, and coincides with the providential workings of God. Some modern-day advocacy examples include promoting education, missions, health, unity among races, violent-free communities, and fighting poverty and women abuse.
With the “I will go!” theme this quinquennium, what is it that you can advocate for? Surely you believe and support the gospel and three angels’ messages of Revelation 14. In that context, what is God calling you to stand for?
The Bible is full of bold advocates who passionately believed in something they were willing to give everything for, even their lives. The following three biblical advocates model core principles of advocacy.
First, Moses was an advocate for the deliverance of God’s people (Ex. 3; 4). From the time he lived in Egypt to when he stood up to Pharaoh, calling for the freedom of the Israelites, Moses was a servant-leader who advocated for God and His people. He represents the type of imperfect but dedicated leader and advocate.
Second is Esther. She was an advocate for crisis intervention (Esther 4; 5). This is an account of a providential calling with the right person, time, and place. God used a young woman to save an entire nation through her courage, acumen, timing, and collaboration. She represents the type of advocate who discerns a crisis and with the guidance of God facilitates an effective solution.
Third is the maid to Naaman’s wife in 2 Kings 5. She was an advocate for simple life solutions. Against societal expectations, God used an unlikely person in that she was a captive, a child, a female, and a foreigner. Nevertheless, she courageously advocated a path of truth that led to Naaman’s help and healing.
God used these remarkable persons to be His advocates. He wants to use you as well. Ask God to open your eyes that you may see, embrace, and creatively act on your ministry of advocacy.