When the popular band The Eagles prepares a new song for concert, they sit in a circle with acoustic guitars and unamplified voices and rehearse their intricate vocals. They call this exercise “The Circle of Fear” because there is no place to hide and no way to conceal any errors they might make in the harmonies. That sense of absolute exposure for their mistakes is what makes this drill so frightening to them.

Apart from Christ, we would suffer a far worse kind of exposure before the God of all justice. If we had no advocate and no escape, we would also have no hope. But in Christ, the believer has a Defender who stands before the Father on our behalf. First John 2:1 says, “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” With our failings exposed, He takes our defense. Our Defender carries our relationship with God beyond a “circle of fear” to a fellowship of grace and truth.

Our challenge is to live lives of purity and integrity that honor our heavenly Father. Yet, when we do fail, we do not need to fear abandonment or ridicule from our Father. We have an Advocate who will carry us through.