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The 700 Club

Anne Graham Lotz: Her Book, America, and Remembering Billy Graham (Extended)

With a style strikingly reminiscent of her famous father, Anne Graham Lotz has powerfully proclaimed the gospel for thirty years.  On the personal side, Anne is called “mom” by three grown children, and “grandmother” by three young ladies. In 2015, her beloved husband of nearly 50 years, Danny, died unexpectedly.  These days, Anne continues to spur audiences around the globe to deeper devotion to Christ. Her newest book is: The Daniel Key.

SR: “Here’s a great quote. I wrote it down: “We don’t want to get to heaven and discover all the answers to prayer for which we never bothered to ask You. Wow.”

AGL: “My mother told me that. She said if there are any tears in heaven, they’re going to be over all the answers to prayer for which no one ever bothered to ask.” (SR: “Whoa.”) “Yeah, isn’t that something?”

SR: “When prayers don’t get answered … Jesus says, keep knocking, keep asking. But you don’t get an answer. I’ve been at it for, a couple of prayers I could think about, for many, many years. Haven’t heard a word. So don’t know. Keep doing it.  What do you do with that?”

AGL: “Just what you’re doing. I have some like that on my prayer list too. So, in fact, I was talking to somebody this morning and another person last night over major unanswered prayers that they have. And you just have to wait on the Lord. His timing is not ours. But I love, there’s a verse in the Old Testament that says that when we commit our way to the Lord, that He’s working. And so while we pray, He’s at work, even though we don’t see evidence of it. So we just have to trust Him. One of the things I think we need to do is ask Him to give us a promise. And I told both of these people I was talking to, to ask God to confirm what they were praying for with a promise from His Word. So that your faith is based on God’s Word, not on what you want, what you wish, what you hope so. But you—it’s what’s been called ‘reverse thunder’ where we pray God’s Word back to Him and we hold Him to His Word. So, in other words, ‘God, I’m not just wanting You to bring my child home, but You said in Your Word that if I would do something such-and-such, You would bring my child home. So God, keep Your Word.’ It’s that kind of prayer.”

SR: “A number of years ago, my mother, with the Lord now, but she was going through a very difficult time, as I was with her as she aged. And I said, ‘Lord Jesus, why don’t You just take her? ‘And He says, ‘For you.’ And I said, ‘What’s that all about?’ And the more I spent time with that, and He said, ‘You need to forgive your mother for this, this, this, this and this.’ And it took me a little awhile, but when it got clear what was going on, it was –I was the issue. Then when I got those cleared up, the Lord took her. So forgiveness, a big word here. How quick are we to forgive?”

AGL: “I think as soon as whatever it is has happened. You know, forgiveness is a choice. So it’s a decision that we make. We think forgiveness is a feeling. That we have to feel forgiving and loving and whatever. But, you know, when we’re told to forgive one another as God has forgiven us, that’s a command. And obedience to a command involves a choice.  If it was our emotions, we can’t control our emotions, we couldn’t be obedient to that. So when He says to forgive others, we make the choice and then, I think the feelings catch up. But when I choose to forgive someone, because I’ve been forgiven. I mean, God, for Jesus’ sake, forgave me of things much worse that I’ve done to Him than anybody’s done to me.  So when I choose to forgive, then I want to reach out and do something to bless that other person. That helps to heal my wound. That helps to heal my hurts. And so if I reach out and bless that person, and then regardless of what their response is, I have people right now who refuse to reconcile, they refuse to meet me halfway. So but I’ve done everything I can do. So, you know, I feel like the burden has been lifted from my shoulders. Now the ball is in their court. But I’m free. You know, I’m free to love them and to get on with my life.”

SR: “But that is a choice.”

AGL: “It’s a choice to forgive.”

SR: “Big word: sin. We don’t hear ‘sin’ much anymore. I don't know if you hear it preached. I don't see it in the newspaper very often. And with sin comes a word that is related to that: repentance. And you say “repent of my repentance.’ What does ‘repent of my repentance’ mean?”

AGL: “Well, I think sometimes our repentance, what we think of as repentance, is just remorse. And so we sin, we do something wrong, we get caught in it, or the choice turns out to be not to be our benefit, and so we say ‘God, we’re sorry.’ And, you know, and we feel sorry for ourselves.  But we are not taking it deep and turning away from our sin. Biblical repentance is repudiation of sin. It’s crucifying the sin. It’s putting the sin out. It’s turning away from it completely. And I think sometimes our repentance is so shallow, that given another chance, we’ll go right back and do the same thing, which is not real repentance. So it was like, I guess, repent of fake repentance, (SR: “Right.” ) you know.”

SR: “You would be in what I’d consider a Baby Boomer category. Then you have the Millennials. You have the X-Generation, etc., etc. And then you look at the condition of the country, whatever else. Is this –are we not passing the Word on like a baton, as you describe it?”

AGL: “I think some of us are. And, but I think the culture has become so secularized. And almost practical atheists, where they live and move and have their being as though there’s no God at all. And so I think that’s probably the majority in our culture and the majority in our nation. But there are those who are seeking to live faithfully, to pass it on to their children and their grandchildren faithfully. And I’ve met Millennials and Generation X-ers and people like that who are totally committed to the Lord. In fact, I think some in those generations, they almost pay a higher price because they’re so alone. But they’re strong in faith and seeking to really make a difference.  So, you know, God has a remnant in every generation, doesn’t He? You know, so it’ll never be a complete generation until Jesus comes back and sets up His millennial reign. (SR: “Right.”) So I believe my father’s homegoing was a wake-up call, it was a shot across the bow, and Jesus is saying I’m coming, it’s time to get right with me.”

SR: “Was he disappointed? I mean, from the 1940’s up through his –all the years that he preached the Gospel throughout the world, more than any individual to my knowledge. Was he disappointed about the way things have been going in America or in the world?”

AGL: “I don’t want to put words in his mouth, you know. But I think you would wish that it had –you would wish it had made a greater difference corporately. It’s made a tremendous difference in individual lives. I mean, I meet them all over the world. Their lives were radically changed when they went forward at daddy’s meeting or watched him on television. And they’re now in ministry, they’re now missionaries, pastors, leaders or just parents leading their children. I mean, I’ve seen that. But the impact on our nation, you know, something’s missing, isn’t it? And so it may go back to where you’re talking about passing the baton where somewhere Christian parents have not passed on the truth that leads to faith to their children.

Maybe we left it up to the churches or to the professionals and we didn’t do it ourselves. But something is disconnected because instead of the nation getting better, we’ve gotten worse. We’ve gotten farther away from God’s Word. And it could be that, in response to what my father did, talking about spiritual warfare, he’s just come in like a flood to try to undo any impact from my father’s ministry or other people’s ministries or the church. But we know in the end that we’ll be triumphant.”

SR: “Okay, the immediate future. What are you projecting? What are you seeing? What are you hearing? You’re encouraged. You have hope because you know God’s in charge of it. (AGL:“That’s right.”) But the way we’re going at the moment; what do you think?

AGL: “Okay, well, the nation. Part of me is encouraged because I think the leadership of this President, and I wasn’t somebody early who saw what he could have been. And I know we have issues with the way he expresses himself. But his policies have been stunningly supportive of Biblical values.  Right now he has my applause and my prayers, and I can tell you. And because I think he’s in a very dangerous place, you can feel the enemy trying to tear him to shreds, including his policies that have taken a stand on Biblical values.”

SR: “Have we lost our fear of God?”

AGL: “ Yes, yes. We have, within the church and outside the church. It’s stunning. You know, we live our lives as though He’s not holy, as though He’s not almighty, as though He’s not pure. And, you know, so we have. And fear of God is just that. It’s being afraid of God in a healthy sense. So that that keeps us from sin, it keeps us right before Him. Just like my father. I was, in a sense as a girl growing up, afraid of my father. I wouldn’t have done anything to displease him.  You don’t want to provoke his wrath. - Now my father, I think, he spanked me twice in all my life. Because my mother did all the spankings. But I had a healthy fear that was –that was rooted in my overwhelming love for my father. I wouldn’t have wanted to hurt him or disappoint him or make him cross.  And so a fear of God is rooted in love for God. But you don’t want to hurt Him. You don’t want to displease Him. And then there’s a reverence. You know, God is God and we are we. And that’s a big difference.”

SR: “Book of Acts. Fear of the Lord came upon the whole church. That would be healthy.”

AGL: “That would be healthy and that’s where wisdom is found. You know, the beginning of wisdom is fear of God. So we have all this technology, all this brain power, all of this knowledge and we do the dumbest things. You know, because there’s no wisdom. If you don’t have fear of God, then there’s no wisdom.”

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