Roger Marsh: Hi this Roger Marsh for Family Talk. Do you remember Dr. Dobson's touching interview with Rebekah Gregory?
Rebekah Gregory: The hardest part of that day was not the physical, though. It was the emotional. It was everything that not only I saw, but my son saw as well.
Roger Marsh: Or what about the powerful interview with Dennis Prager?
Dennis Prager: Nice people can do damage. Nice is not the same as wise. Lack of wisdom creates evil, not lack of niceness.
Roger Marsh: There were so many great Family Talk moments this year. It may be hard to pick your favorite, but don't worry, we've done it for you. We've selected eighteen of the most popular broadcasts of the past year, and present them to you together on six audio CDs, in the 2019, Family Talk Best of Broadcast Collection! These entertaining and informative programs are sure to bless you and become a cherished part of your family resource library. This compelling CD-set is our thank you for a suggested gift of any amount in support of Family Talk. Learn more at drjamesdobson.org, or by calling 877-732-6825. Thank you, and God bless you.
Now, throughout the entire month of December, we are highlighting our most listened to broadcasts from the past year. So, sit back and enjoy this popular program from 2019, on this special edition of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk.
Announcer: Today, on Family Talk:
Roger Marsh: Before Jesus ascended into heaven, he promised to send us another Comforter for us to rely on. The Holy Spirit has since acted as our Counselor throughout our Christian walk, but as we'll learn today, He also helps us in other ways that we may not have realized. In just a few moments, we will continue Dr. Dobson's latest conversation with author and evangelist, Anne Graham Lotz.
Last time on our program, Anne shared with us her struggles with losing her husband and her father, and being diagnosed with cancer herself. Despite that incredibly challenging time, Anne explains how the Holy Spirit was her constant companion.
Today, Anne Graham Lotz and Dr. Dobson will consider the Holy Spirit's other roles as our advocate, intercessor and confidant, and will explain the appearance of the complete Trinity throughout the entire Bible. Now, before you hear the remainder of this interview, let me remind you of who today's guest is. Anne Graham Lotz is an international evangelist, a bestselling author and founder of AnGeL Ministries. The New York Times recognized her as one of the five most influential evangelists of her generation. You may also recognize her as one of the daughters of the late Reverend Billy Graham. Anne Graham Lotz has appeared on many TV and radio programs and is also a regular commentator on the Washington Post. She holds six honorary doctorates and previously served as chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force.
Let's listen now to the conclusion of Dr. Dobson's conversation with Anne Graham Lotz, right here on Family Talk.
Dr. Dobson: You know Anne, I can just envision the people listening to us who are widows. There must be thousands and tens of thousands of them, but it's amazing to me how many places in the scripture talk about how God loves and cares for the women who have lost their husbands.
Anne Graham Lotz: After my husband went to heaven, one of the things I did was do a word study on widows and all the promises that God gives to widows and it really is precious. I just encourage any widow that's listening, or widower, to do the same thing, just to study and see what God's Word has to say and then claim those promises for yourself.
Dr. Dobson: The Holy Spirit is referred to in the scripture as the heavenly Paraclete. That means, as I understand it, the one who comes alongside of, is that your understanding of that word?
Anne Graham Lotz: So, the names of the Holy Spirit reveal something about His character, who He is, and He's wonderful. So, Paraclete would be one, and the Helper, and He has helped me so many, many times, but somehow His help and His strength and the peace that He gives over, for me anyway, balanced the grief and the pain.
Dr. Dobson: You are a wonderful blessing to us. Are you regaining your strength? Is your vitality returning?
Anne Graham Lotz: It's slow, but I'm working on it, so I don't want to become impatient with myself but it's hard not to be.
Dr. Dobson: What surprised you about the third person of the Trinity as you wrote this book and studied the scripture?
Anne Graham Lotz: I'll tell you, this may be a very simple thing, but in Ephesians we're told not to grieve the Holy Spirit, and that sort of stopped me because grief is a love word. I grieve for my mother because I loved her and I grieve for my husband because I loved him and I grieve for my daddy because I loved him, and grief is a love word. So, it stopped me because I thought, that means the Holy Spirit loves me, and when I do the right thing, He rejoices but when I do the wrong thing, He's grieved because He loves me and He wants the best for me. I had thought, Dr. Dobson, when I asked Jesus into my heart, and I learned about the Holy Spirit, that He was assigned to me, that the Father would say, "All right, Holy Spirit, you go into Anne," and then He would work in my life and then one day He would turn me over to the Father and He would say, "Well, I've done the best I could with what I had," but it's not that way.
He's emotionally wrapped up in my life, He loves me, He's committed to me. He wants the best for me, He wants to give me a fullness of joy and blessing. Doesn't mean I don't have challenges, because I do, because the challenges make you strong. It doesn't mean that He doesn't convict me, because He does. He doesn't let me get by with anything, but He's on my side, so to speak, and He's ... does it with a heart of love. So, that was a new thought, that was a surprise, that was the sweetest blessing for me, to discover that the Holy Spirit loves me as Jesus loves me and as God loves me.
Dr. Dobson: Maybe this question will be helpful to somebody, it may be off the wall for others, but I remember an old gospel hymn, I can't even start at the beginning of it and I wouldn't try to sing it, but it says, "And He walks with me and He talks with me and He tells me I am His own, and the joy I share as we gather there, none other has ever known." Is that the Holy Spirit we're talking about?
Anne Graham Lotz: Yes, and that was my mother-in-law's favorite hymn. That was sung at her funeral. So when I hear that one, I just ... "I Come To The Garden Alone" is the name of that hymn and it is because we have that beautiful picture of Jesus with Adam and Eve in Genesis Chapter Two, walking and talking with them in the garden. One day we're going to have that experience. We're going to go to heaven and we're going to walk with the King down the streets of gold. I don't know if it'll get better than that, but until then we have the Holy Spirit who comes and lives inside of us.
He doesn't speak to me in an audible voice, but He speaks to me through scripture. So when I read my Bible ... In fact, I was concerned about coming out of this past year, of being sort of sidelined, and it's been a time of retreat for me. To be honest, I've loved not having to pack and unpack and get on a plane and travel and all that kind of stuff, keep a schedule. Now I'm getting back into that and I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to and in my devotions two days ago, the Lord just said ... three times, He said, "Anne, I will bless you and I will help you." And He said it again, repeated it three different times and He said, "I will bless you and I will help you. I will bless you and ... " and I've just clung to that and believe that as I step out into ministry once again, that He's going to bless me and that He's going to help me.
And I know that tapping into Him through prayer and Bible reading is what's given me the strength to go through, not just somehow, as I like to say, but triumphantly, so that I'm not under the circumstances, I'm on top of them. Only the Holy Spirit could do that, but it's as I cling to Him and rely on Him and look to Him in prayer and through His Word that that He just gives me everything that I need.
Dr. Dobson: Anne, I told you in the last program, during our telephone conversation, that you've had such a great influence on my life and on Shirley's life. You in fact succeeded her as chairman of the National Day Of Prayer and there's been so many ways that our lives have intertwined with you and your family. I want to go back to a conversation that Shirley told me the two of you had some time ago, and let you elaborate on it. Shirley was saying, "Anne, do you think the Lord is coming back quickly? Where do you think we are in His timetable?" You said to Shirley, "He's standing at the door even as we speak." Do you remember that conversation?
Anne Graham Lotz: I believe that, so it's not hard for me to believe that I had that conversation with her, because I believe when we look at what's happening in our world, the alignment of nations, the new allies that are lining up, it's the way that it will be at the very end of the age and what scripture tells. And what Daniel prophesied and what Zachariah prophesied and then what we see in the Book of Revelation and it's all ... Some people say the world's falling apart, but it's really falling into place isn't it? It's just getting ready for the return of Jesus Christ and can I just tell you, Dr. Dobson? One of the motives, or the burdens I had for this book, Jesus in Me, is that I believe the rapture is going to happen at any time and I believe, and I'm not dogmatic because nobody knows, but I think it will come before that seven year period of great tribulation.
When that happens, and you and I are caught up to be with Jesus, then that leaves the whole world without any believer who's indwelt with the Holy Spirit. And I wondered, as all the Christians leave, and there are no more pastors, evangelists, churches, and maybe there will be some, but not ones that have been indwelt with the Holy Spirit, and there'll be a vacuum and will people feel abandoned? And yet Revelation tells us that there'll be many, many, many millions of people who come to faith after the rapture and they'll have to pay the price.
Many of them are martyred and they give that to pay the ultimate price for putting their faith in Jesus. But I wanted to write a book that I could leave behind for them so they would know they have not been abandoned. Jesus said in John 16 that, "I'm not going to leave you as orphans. I will come to you," so that even during that tribulation period, if a person comes to the cross, confesses their sin, tells God they're sorry, believes Jesus died for them and asks Him to forgive them and come into their heart, He'll come into them in the person of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, the rapture will not deplete His power, or dilute Him. It'll take us all out, so in a way it'll seem like He's gone, and in some ways He is, but He's still available to come into anybody who receives Him by faith. So Jesus is in you and in me and after the rapture, when we're gone, He will be available to come into anyone who receives Jesus by faith.
Dr. Dobson: Many people struggle to understand the Trinity. Three persons in one, yet individual personalities, three members of the Godhead. Can you explain that better for people who are having difficulty with it?
Anne Graham Lotz: Actually, I can't, I don't even try. I've heard illustrations to try to explain it, but it's a mystery, isn't it? Somebody once said that if God were small enough for us to understand, he wouldn't be big enough to save us. So, there's some things we don't understand and we just worship. So, I know our God is one, but I know He is three in one. He's the Father, He's the Son, He's the Holy Spirit. Each one is equal to the other. We think of the Holy Spirit as sort of the P.S. because He's the third but He's not the least. It's because in scripture the old Testament primarily reveals God, the Father, and the Gospels primarily reveal God, the Son. Then starting with Acts and the Epistles, it's God the Holy Spirit who's primarily revealed, so it's just that he's the third in the order of more clear revelation.
Dr. Dobson: When you get down on your knees to pray and you address the Godhead, in whose name do you usually speak?
Anne Graham Lotz: I pray in Jesus' name. I feel like we're ... and I pray to Jesus, and there are times that I prayed to the Father. And the Holy Spirit - John 16 makes it clear that His whole priority is Jesus, His priority is the written word because the written word reveals the living word. So, the Holy Spirit is the author of scripture. It says, "Every word, every jot and tittle in the Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit." So, He's written that for us, that we might know God the Son, and God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit but He draws us to Jesus and He's there to glorify Jesus, to reveal Jesus to us. It doesn't mean that we don't give Him attention and I wanted to make sure in this book, if you read through the book at the end, the conclusion is all about His priority. You see it from the very beginning of Genesis, Chapter One, all the way through the end to Revelation chapter 22, his whole priority is to reveal Jesus, but it doesn't matter if we get them mixed up.
If we invite Jesus into our hearts, he comes in in the person of the Holy Spirit, he understands the semantics, you know.
Dr. Dobson: Yeah, I'm sure he does.
Anne Graham Lotz: If you pray to the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit understands we're praying to Jesus. So, I just don't think there should be any hesitation, no shyness, no apprehension. You pray to God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, the God who is the Creator, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the God who so loved the world that He gave Jesus to die for us. That if we place our faith in Him, we would not perish but have everlasting life, so it's that God. In our world, Dr. Dobson, it's tragic because now so many other gods are lifted up equal to Jesus, and Jesus isn't even allowed to be mentioned, but He is King of Kings and he is Lord of Lords and He is the unique son of God, and He does stand in the solitude of Himself and one day He's coming back to reign and rule in this world.
I believe, as Shirley remembers I said, it's very soon and if it happened in the next moment, I want him to find me serving him and loving him and telling other people about without being ashamed. I'm not going to buy into this political correctness that tells us that we can't mention the name of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. He's the one that magnifies Jesus and glorifies Jesus and beautifies Jesus. I don't think we need to be concerned about confusing one with the other because they're three in one and they all understand.
Dr. Dobson: Does the Holy Spirit show up in the Old Testament?
Anne Graham Lotz: He does in the second verse. So, Genesis 1:1 begins, that great verse, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." And verse two says, "And the Spirit of God hovered over the face of the deep." That's the Holy Spirit preparing planet Earth that had no form, was void, covered with water, preparing it to receive the Word of God in verse three, "That went forth every day and every day between the Holy Spirit and the Word that went forth, the planet Earth was transformed." So you see Him all through the Old Testament and He would come upon people in the Old Testament. He would anoint them like King Saul, anoint him to lead Israel.
Then when King Saul sinned, the Holy Spirit was removed and given to King David and when King David sinned with Bathsheba, he prayed and he said, "God, don't take away your Holy Spirit," because he knew the Holy Spirit could be given and then be taken away.
But in the New Testament, since Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of us, He comes never to leave us, never to forsake us. So, He's given to us and He will never be taken away.
Dr. Dobson: He's called our advocate, isn't He?
Anne Graham Lotz: Yes, He is. Our advocate, our intercessor, our strengthener.
Dr. Dobson: Explain what that means if you will, you describe it on pages 18 and 19 of your book.
Anne Graham Lotz: I tell a story in there that would be hard to tell briefly, but my husband was chairman of the board of deacons in our church. He was head of the men's fellowship, he taught the largest Sunday school class in the church and the pastor retired and they were looking for another pastor and my husband was on the search committee and the search committee decided that they didn't want a pastor who believed in the inerrancy and infallibility of scripture.
So on a Sunday morning, during the worship service, voted to remove him from the search committee and to the sound of applause, the whole church applauded when my husband was removed, it was humiliating. Then my Bible class that met there every week and had been there every week for nine years, a big class, we had 500 women, including the pastor's wife, but they threw us out because they were afraid that my Bible class would influence the search committee. So the front page of the paper, it was headlines, "Billy Graham's daughter thrown out of a Baptist church," and it was humiliating. So I didn't retaliate, I didn't say anything, and the Lord put my class in another wonderful church and my husband and I were out of church for a year but then we joined another wonderful church and a year later, the advocate, who is the Holy Spirit, who works on our behalf, and that same paper that had printed those headlines printed a beautiful two page article on me, just absolving me of any guilt and fault and absolving my Bible class.
I knew at the time that was the work of the Advocate on my behalf. Sometimes He doesn't work as quickly as we think He should. I would have liked that article to come out as soon as I was thrown out, but it took a year, but a year later, the record was set straight. So, the Advocate can do things for us.
He can intercede, that's another name for Him, with other people, with somebody that you have a broken relationship with, if they have the Holy Spirit, you can pray that the Holy Spirit in them would be stirred up and the Holy Spirit in you and that He would intercede and reconcile the two of you.
Dr. Dobson: You know Anne, that reminds me of Romans, 8:26, which says, "So likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weaknesses, for we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us, with groanings that cannot be uttered.
Anne Graham Lotz: Isn't it wonderful? Because there's sometimes we can't articulate our prayers either. The Holy Spirit who lives in us, and He ever lives before the throne of God, and He can convey our thoughts, our feelings, without words to the Father. Even when I pray, my prayers are so feeble and the Holy Spirit can clean them up and make them presentable, but it also tells us that Jesus, He ever lives to make intercession for us.
I feel like everybody ought to have a prayer partner, whether it's your husband, or a spouse, or somebody in your church or your family, but sometimes we don't have anybody we can confide in like that. But that's the Holy Spirit, He's our prayer partner. He prays for us and knows how to pray and knows how to get answers to prayer and we can confide in Him and He never breaks a confidence. He never spins the truth, He's absolutely trustworthy.
Dr. Dobson: Anne, let me share a memory from my own family about advocacy, that related to my dad. I don't even know if I can fully explain it, but it's highly emotional to me. I'm not sure I can get through it, but in 1977, my dad had had a terrible heart attack and he would soon die. He just didn't live very long after this. I was on my way back to Los Angeles after a speaking engagement in Indianapolis and I got to Kansas City about 12:00 midnight and I went straight to the hospital to see my dad. That weekend turned out to be the last time I would ever be with him.
The next morning, Sunday morning, I went to his bedside and my dad was emotional and he said, "I want to tell you something that happened to me early this morning." It was about five o'clock in the morning in the gray dawn of the hospital and he said it was not a dream. He said it was a vision, it was not a dream because he was wide awake, but he saw a man sitting at a table in the room and he was writing something. As he wrote, he started to speak in the most eloquent language my dad had ever heard. Quickly, he realized that the man was talking about him and describing his life. As the man came to the bottom of the page, he thrust his hand outward, holding the pen, and he said "He is acceptable."
My dad realized that the man was Jesus who was speaking and writing on his behalf in some heavenly court. Then suddenly the vision ended and my dad had been lying there thinking about what that meant in regard to his acceptability to God the Father. He was very emotional and so was I.
Anne Graham Lotz: Yes. Isn't that a wonderful thing? Ephesians 1 tells us that we're accepted in the beloved. That's a wonderful word, to know that because of what Jesus has done, we're accepted. Then we also want to live our lives in such a way that we receive a full reward. So, I'm sure your father was one and Dr. Dobson, I believe you and Shirley both are going to receive a full reward. And I'm so thankful- I count it a privilege to know you personally as well as to talk to you in your program, so it's a very precious blessing to me.
Dr. Dobson: Anne, it's been a pleasure talking to you. Thank you for sharing so personally about your own struggles and problems that you've gone through, and the loss. God be with you and I know He will, and keep writing. You've written what, 16 books?
Anne Graham Lotz: I've lost count somewhere in there.
Dr. Dobson: Yeah, well this one is called Jesus in Me: Experiencing The Holy Spirit as a Constant Companion. Is it really that constant? Is He always with you?
Anne Graham Lotz: Always with us, whether you're consciously aware of it or not. But He's always with us, those moments ... In fact, Dr. Dobson, I think he lets us have hardship and pressure and pain and suffering because it's at those moments that we're more aware of His presence. We tend to rely on Him more and we depend on Him more and we look to Him more. So, I can thank God for the weakness, I can thank God for the pain and the suffering, I can thank God even for the grief and the loss because it's during those times that I know Him in a way I wouldn't if everything was going well. Maybe that's one explanation for suffering, why God lets the innocent suffer and why He lets bad things happen to good people. I think it's because it makes us better.
Dr. Dobson: Thank you for being with us today. Shirley sends her love to you.
Anne Graham Lotz: Thank you so much Dr. Dobson. God bless you.
Dr. Dobson: And God bless you.
Roger Marsh: Well, this is Roger Marsh and I hope you've been blessed by Dr. James Dobson's conversation with Anne Graham Lotz here on Family Talk. Her story is one of incredible perseverance and faith under extremely difficult circumstances. Please pray with us that Anne continues to recover from the cancer diagnosis she received not too long ago, and remains committed to sharing the gospel. You can visit our broadcast page at drjamesdobson.org, to see how you can get a copy of Anne Graham Lotz's new book called Jesus in Me. There you'll also see a link to AnGeL Ministries as well. Simply go to drjamesdobson.org, then click on the Broadcast page.
Thanks so much for listening today, and I hope you'll join us again next time, for another edition of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk.
Announcer: This has been a presentation of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute.
Dr. Dobson: This is James Dobson again. Before we go, I'd like to remind you that Family Talk is a listener supported program. If you've enjoyed this broadcast, we'd appreciate your helping to keep us on the air. As you know, we talk about everything from religious liberty to the sanctity of human life, and raising boys and girls, among others. These are the passions of our hearts, and I hope they are for you, too. Thank you so much for listening and for being part of this ministry. For more information, go to drjamesdobson.org.