NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of the late Billy Graham, urged Christians to seek the power of the Holy Spirit to combat the “moral and spiritual free fall” taking place in the United States.
Speaking at the Closing Gala Dinner at NRB's 2020 Christian Media Convention on Feb. 28, Lotz, president of AnGeL Ministries in Raleigh, North Carolina, highlighted the aspects of the Holy Spirit found in John 16:5-15.
She stressed that the Holy Spirit is a “person,” not an “it.”
“He’s not a dove. He’s not a flame of fire. He’s not an ecstatic experience. The Holy Spirit is a divine, invisible person. He has a mind to think. He has a will to act. He has emotions to feel,” she said, adding that the Holy Spirit is present in all believers.
“When we come by faith to the cross, claim Jesus as our Savior and our Lord, open up our hearts and receive Him into ourselves, He comes into us in the person of the Holy Spirit. He will never leave us, and He will never forsake us. It’s a permanent relationship. Praise God,” she said.
“Today, in our politically correct culture, as we’re in this moral and spiritual free fall in our nation, it’s going to take Holy Spirit courage, boldness, and strength to stand against that tide and hold the line for the Gospel and the Word of God,” she added.
In an age where truth is relative, Lotz reminded attendees that John 16:13 refers to the Holy Spirit as “the Spirit of truth.”
“So get out the Word, read it, take it in for yourself, and then get it out as much as you can. He works through the Word that He has breathed Himself. … Read the Word with a heart that believes every word is from the Lord, and you listen for Him to whisper to you through the pages.”
The more Christians delve into Scripture, the more they will become like Christ, she added.
“In Jesus, there’s no meanness,” she said. “There’s no unkindness. There’s no selfishness. There’s no unforgiveness. There’s no pridefulness. There’s no bitterness. There’s no sinfulness at all. And when the Holy Spirit comes into you and me, He begins to make us holy as He is holy.”
The Holy Spirit prays for us when we don’t have words to pray (Romans 8:26), the evangelist said, adding: “The Holy Spirit takes my cries before the Father. He puts words to them, dresses them up, and turns them into prayers. He can take what I’m feeling and thinking — how I’m hurting on the inside — and translate it into a prayer before the Father.”
“The Holy Spirit’s priority is the written Word of God,” she concluded. “He draws us into the written Word that we might know the Living Word. His priority is Jesus, and He wants us to know Jesus, to love Jesus, to obey Jesus, to serve Jesus, to bring Him glory. So He draws us into the Word of God that we might know Him like that.”
Lotz, who finished treatment for breast cancer in October of last year, shares how the Holy Spirit comforted her throughout the painful process in her book,Jesus in Me: Experiencing the Holy Spirit as a Constant Companion.
As she traveled from appointment to appointment, Lotz said she felt the Holy Spirit give her a “sense of purpose.”
“Again and again, I was stopped by other patients or visitors who recognized me, people who said they were praying for me or who asked me to pray for them,” she said.
“I had multiple opportunities to share the Gospel and to pray with nurses, technicians, doctors, and many others who treated me. His whisper changed my attitude from that of being a cancer victim to being on a mission as His ambassador.”
After her sixth chemo treatment, the evangelist began questioning whether she should continue chemo: “The weakness and weariness were debilitating. The side effects were daunting,” she explained.
However, she felt the Holy Spirit confirm to her that she was to continue chemo. “My next and last treatment would be my seventh time! So as much as I resisted the ‘muck and mud,' in obedience to God’s leading, I committed to complete the seventh infusion,” she said.
Those two examples, the founder of AnGel Ministries said, are just a “few of the Spirit’s whispers to my heart.”
“Would I have made the same decisions without what He had said? Would I have had the same perseverance, courage, comfort, and direction if I had not read my Bible, listening for His voice? I don’t think so,” she said.
“Yes, I would have survived. But like many others, I would have been just guessing my way through life, afraid I would take a wrong turn and very probably doing so. Instead, the Spirit’s whispers have enabled me to live with energetic confidence, making very few costly mistakes.”
Based on her experiences, Lotz encouraged others to “read your Bible. Every day. Study it. Learn to love it. Live by it.”
“Listen for the whisper of the Spirit, who speaks through the pages of the Word that He Himself has inspired and through the words on the pages, which are God-breathed,” she concluded.