Beauty for Ashes: Let Go of
By Marilyn Hickey
part two of Marilyn's chapel talk, Marilyn shares several Scripture passages
that illustrate three ways we can focus on our "ashes" and keep
God from giving us His beauty.
I am going to tell you three Scriptures that I think will help you. Listen
to this. Some people eat ashes like bread. This is Psalm 102:9: "I have eaten
ashes like bread." If you talk to them, they will always end up telling you
about their wounds. That is what they talk about. They talk it and talk it
and talk it and talk it. You will always end up with a conversation about
who hurt them, what they did that was wrong. They go over it and over it and
over it. They don't get their beauty because that is all they talk about.
What do you talk? Do you talk wounds, or do you give ashes to Jesus and talk
We all have wounds, and we can talk them. But when you talk wounds instead
of beauty, you get more wounds, and you never get the beauty that the Lord
has for you. We have all blown it. We have all been hurt. But some Christians
are walking around with an awful lot of beauty. Does God have pets? No. He
just has bigger believers.
Sitting in Ashes
Let's look at the second one. Some people sit in their ashes, Jonah 3:6.
"The word came to the king of Nineveh and he arose from his throne and lay
aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes."
I am a pastor's wife. We have pastored one church, if you could imagine,
for 43 years. That is a long time. Now my son-in-law and my daughter are really
taking over the church. I have seen lots of things in pastoring, and I love
pastoring, but there are people you could never get to do anything. You ask,
"Would you teach Sunday school?" "Oh, no, I was very disappointed. I taught
one time and they didn't appreciate me." "Would you sing in the choir?" "No,
I had someone offend me in the choir one time and I just don't do that anymore."
"Would you drive a Sunday school bus?" "No, I might wreck the bus." You can
never get them to do anything.
What is it about some Christians that they just sit all of the time? Because
they not only speak wounds, speak ashes, they sit in them. And I have found
out, I could sit down and give up. I could, because everybody has had occasions.
If you want to sit in your wounds, you can sit there. That is just where the
devil wants you. Don't do anything; just sit there. Why are some Christians
not doing anything? Because they are sitting in their ashes.
One time I did a really, really unusual thing that I thought I heard from
God. We had a big crusade in New York City, but we had the wrong venue. It
cost us a lot of money. We went into debt. It was bad. I was very discouraged
because I thought I had heard from God. Why haven't we paid for this? On top
of that, we were taking a ship that would hold 600 people to Tanga, Tanzania,
to do a crusade, and it was at that time that the Embassy was hit with a bomb
and Dar es Salaam and our government said not to go to
Tanzania. I lost 300 people on that ship, but I still paid for 600 people.
My ministry went into debt over a million dollars. It could have put us under.
It was so discouraging to me that I said, Lord, do I not hear Your voice?
That was the most discouraging thing. I prayed about these things. I tried
to be sensitive to hear Your voice. If I cannot hear Your voice, I shouldn't
even be in the ministry. I just wanted to sit down and forget it, close
the doors, and say I was retiring.
I will never forget this. I went to our board meeting. We have a wonderful
board. I said, "I have very good news for you: We are a million dollars in
the hole! It is my fault because I made wrong decisions." They said, "Well,
Marilyn, did you have anyone saved in New York?" "Oh, yeah, we had a lot of
people saved."" What about in Tanga, Tanzania? "We had over 40,000 people
who received Christ, and we had healings." They said, "That doesn't count
then? It is the million dollars that is important, not the souls." They said,
"God can make up the million dollars."
That is exactly what happened. I think that year we doubled our income. But
I could have sat down and done nothing if I hadn't given the ashes to the
Wallowing in Ashes
Let me talk about the last one. You can wallow in ashes. We talk about 'Holy
Rollers.' There are people who roll in their ashes. It is just disgusting.
Ezekiel 27:30: "They roll about in ashes." They never go anyplace. They just
roll and roll and roll in ashes. Ashes don't look good and they don't smell
good. All they do is they go back and forth and back and forth about who wounded
them and 'I can't do anything.' It may be their mistakes or everybody else's
mistakes, and they miss what God has for them.
When I met my husband, I was a Methodist. I was born again, but I was raised
very liberal Methodist. He was Spirit-filled, went to a Spirit-filled church,
so I went to a Spirit-filled church for him. I didn't want to be Spirit-filled.
He would try to push me, and I would back off. Finally, we were engaged, and
he went on a fast for me. I was so embarrassed because he said, "I am not
going to marry someone who is half-way for God." I said, "I am born again."
He said, "But you are not Spirit-filled. You have known about it for four
years and you backed off." I don't even know why I was that way. I think I
worshipped my brain. Isn't that a little tiny thing to worship? My goodness!
So he began fasting and I couldn't sleep at night. For three nights I couldn't
sleep. God spoke to me. The third night, God said to me, "I will never deal
with you again about this. I have dealt with you for four years. I will show
you what you are going to do. If you turn Me down now on the Baptism in the
Holy Spirit -- and I will never deal with you again -- you will go to California
and you will be a school teacher ( I was already a school teacher). You will
get your master's. You will continue to teach school. You will never marry
Wallace Hickey. You will have a good life. You will die and you will go to
heaven because you belong to Me. But I have something so wonderful for you
that you cannot even imagine if you yield to Me."
I had no idea what He had for me. I didn't know I would go to 97 countries.
I didn't know God would call me to cover the earth with His Word. I didn't
know I would go to Khartoum, Sudan, and have a crusade, the first crusade
ever held there in a Muslim country. I didn't know He had that.
He has the same thing for you because "eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor
has it entered into the heart of man the things that God has prepared for
those that love Him."
Text courtesy of Marilyn Hickey
Part One -- Beauty for Ashes: God's Grand Exchange