Evangelist Anne Graham Lotz has said God is using Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma to "speak to us" - and shared the four messages He is relaying to America.
"Within weeks, we have experienced record-breaking fires in the northwest, record-breaking hurricanes in Texas and Florida, and a record-breaking earthquake in Mexico," Billy Graham's daughter and the founder of AnGel Ministries wrote in a recent op-ed. "What is happening? Are these disasters random? Just freaks of nature? Or is something more significant intended."
Lotz pointed out that in the Old Testament book of 1 Kings, God used an earthquake, wind and fire to get the prophet Elijah's attention because He had "something to say." Our situation is so similar to Elijah's, she said, it begs the question: Is God using these storms to get our attention because He also has something to say to His us?
"Yes, He is," Lotz said, adding that God's message to us can be broken into four parts.
First, He's telling us to "be comforted."
"The fact that God spoke to Elijah revealed God's presence. God is with us. He has promised, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.' (Hebrews 13:5) God is right there. With you. Now! And He understands what it feels like to be stripped of everything," she wrote.
Second, God is telling us "be blessed," Lotz said. "God will bring us help...first responders, FEMA, friends, neighbors, family-even strangers will come alongside to help in the work of rebuilding. They are moved to do so by the Spirit of God, so even in the mess, mold, muck and misery we are aware of Heaven's blessing."
Third, be encouraged: "Our lives also have eternal significance," Lotz said. "No man is an island. Life is not just about you. Me. These storms have given ample opportunity for us to understand that life is about something bigger than we are. It's a good time to reorder our priorities and private world."
Fourth, be ready, as Heaven is waiting and Jesus is coming. "The signs He gave signal that His coming is imminent," she said. "On that day, don't be left behind. Be ready to meet Him face to face. Turn to Him now. Place your trust in Jesus."
Earlier, the 69-year-old speaker and author wrote an op-ed piece for HelloChristian.com in which she proclaimed that now is the time America needs to "get serious" about repentance and prayer.
She wrote: "Our nation is in a mess. Why? Could it be because America is losing God's blessing? And His favor? Could our sin be provoking His judgment? Judgment that is not necessarily in the form of a nuclear dirty bomb, or in another ISIS attack, or in an economic collapse. But in a Romans 1 judgment that is described as 'the wrath of God being revealed against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness' ... and God is backing out of our national life and turning us over to ourselves."
Lotz pointed out that in the Old Testament, God's judgment on the nation of Judah spanned the course of 22 years.
"God always warns a nation that judgment is coming," she added. "He does not want any to perish. But if a nation does not heed His warnings, then He will unleash His anger and there is nothing - no one - who can prevent it. If God would judge His own beloved nation of Judah, why would we think America could escape?"
If America is truly coming under God's judgement and he is "removing His blessing, protection and favor," the "solution will not be found in politics or in the economy or in the military or in technology."
"The only solution will be found on our knees as we humble ourselves, pray, seek God's face, and repent of our sin. And then plead for Him to return to us, as we return to Him," she argues. "Now is the time to get serious about repentance and prayer. When Ezra led a great revival in Judah, the people stood in the pouring rain for three days repenting of their sin, (Ezra 10:9). I wonder ... had God made it hard on His people to test the seriousness of their repentance?"