Things had changed. The comfortable and cosy life I had for the past few years had been cut off. It took me a while to accept this and at some point, I said, 'okay G_d, I accept this road and I will walk through this desert, but I need You to show me exactly where I am at in the desert as I move through it please, as this would help me to move ahead with You.'
In 2004 I was blessed with the opportunity to start my own business in the events industry. Everything fell into place easily, and I praised G_d for making a way for me. I was blessed with weighted clients such as divisions of FNB, BoE and PnP, and if you live in South Africa, you will know that these are sought-after clients. The business grew and in 2007 I had a phenomenal great year financially. Things were going well and I managed to save a substantial sum of money that year.
I loved my job - visiting all the beautiful conference venues out in the bush, Sandton and further out, and nothing under four or five stars, with complimentary stay-overs, tasting their scrumptious food, and going on game drives! It was such a delight! I was the mediator between the client and the venue and I was paid a percentage commission from the venue for bringing in clients.
January 2008 though, started a bit slow and I became a bit concerned, yet little did I know what was waiting ahead.
My domestic help, Rosie returned from her December leave, and on her second day back the iron broke. The following day the vacuum cleaner broke and the next week the load shedding started! This was my first encounter with load shedding. Before this day I did not know what it was or that it even existed. Load shedding in South Africa started because there simply isn't enough electricity to go around due to fraud and mismanagement. So, they will cut electricity for a large area which could include many suburbs at a time within a specific province or more. Sometimes you will end up without electricity for 4 hours, and the load shedding could be scheduled for a couple of weeks at a time.
One morning that week after a long period of load shedding we woke up with a broken geyser. Two days after that my kettle broke. A few days after that the alarm system gave in and a few days after the outside gate motor broke! That same day (the Saturday) my Power Supply Unit that I ordered to combat load shedding arrived - it cost me just over R6k. At least with the PS Unit, I would be able to connect my computer and communicate with my clients, and also send out quotes and proposals, but by this time many small businesses already started realizing that there was trouble ahead and it would be difficult to do business without electricity.
The first weekday (that Monday) after receiving the PS Unit, I was on the phone with a client. Just as I hung up, out of nowhere (there was no sign of rain coming, no thunder or clouds), as I put the handset down a massive strike of lightning hit, and my computer and phone were out. It was so loud and totally unexpected. Chills were running down my back as I was so aware that I could have been hit by lightning had I not finished that phone conversation that very second! I was astounded and could not fathom how that happened out of nowhere.
My phone had to be replaced as well as the modem, the filter and the cable for the printer. One of the USB ports on the hard drive had also blown and all I had was a black screen.
I was devastated! I had just bought the PS Unit on Saturday to be able to work and now my computer got hit by lightning!? I cried like a baby and I asked G_d 'what is going on, Lord!?'
The following Saturday I had to take Rosie to the train station and as I pressed the button to open the garage door it got stuck. The motor broke and I was stuck inside! I cried out 'what else is going to go wrong?!'
Rosie replied: “Marilyn when God takes you out the river, He puts you in the light.” Her words were like ice-cold water on my face. She knew nothing about the dream I had about Garth and me having to cross the river, or the scripture I got in Isaiah!
Feeling very weary, that evening I opened my Bible to read, and I opened it on the scripture Isaiah 43:2!!! Only Holy Spirit can do this! I have not read that scripture again since the day I received it in 2004.
“…when you pass through the waters I will be with you, and through the rivers, it shall not overflow you.”
G_d also caused me to see the following scriptures that same day:
“He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge.”
“Therefore, the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.”
“Because you have been my help, therefore, in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.”
What beautiful scripture! I knew G_d was with me and felt comforted by those words. I also knew something was up because everything that happened just wasn't normal.
By now, the business was suffering and so I had to dig into the previous year's savings. Amazing how G_d stored up for me the previous year!
I was caused to see this scripture and I made it mine:
You shall eat the old harvest, and clear out the old because of the new.
I took it as I was using the money that I earned and stored up the previous year, 'eating the old harvest', and I expected something new to come!
By now I realized that G_d had led me into a desert and I would have to walk this path. Things had changed. The comfortable and cozy life I had for the past few years had been cut off. It took me a while to accept this and at some point, I said, "okay G_d, I accept this road and I will walk through this desert, but I need You to show me exactly where I am at in the desert as I move through it please, as this would help me to move ahead with You.'
08 April 2008
For two weeks already I had been seeking the Lord on behalf of my friend, Cath, who was struggling with something in her life. I asked God to give me a scripture for her. I did not receive a scripture, however that night I dreamt:
In front of me was a tarred road, and I saw many people walking down this road looking like stringed puppets - motionless, not looking left or right. As I moved through the puppets in the opposite direction, I saw a beautiful field of tall green grass with bright yellow flowers on each grass stem. My friend was in that field wearing a jersey with white and green stripes. The green stripes stood out for me. She looked well and very peaceful.
The next day Cath came over for a cup of tea, and I told her about the dream. She had just left when a message from the church came through on my phone, to come to church that Sunday and to wear green and white! I knew God was talking to me and I asked Him about the color green. I looked up the Biblical meaning of the color green, and I got this: "The color of Healing."
Sunday came and I really didn't feel like going to church. It was raining, Garth was on the golf course and I really rather wanted to stay home. But I said, 'God, I am going for my friend. I am going today to receive a word from You for my friend.'
I was so ready to receive a word from G_d and I waited and listened intently the whole service through. I was a little disappointed when the only word I received was 'bitterness'. I shared this word with my friend but it seemed it was not for her. Maybe G_d was just teaching me to hear Him and to be obedient..?
The color of green grass and bright golden yellow flowers stuck with me and every now and again I was reminded of those colors. The next time Cath came to visit she brought me bright yellow daffodils! The green stems and bright golden yellow flowers meant something in the spiritual, and I needed to find out more. I also looked up the color golden yellow (amber) in my dream book, by Ira Milligan: 'His overbearingly bright immediate presence'.
It further said that the color amber is only found in the KJV, in the book of Ezekiel 1:4; 1:27-28; 8:2.
As days went by I also received more meanings for the color green: 'New Life'; 'Growth'; Prosperity'; 'Flourish'; 'Fruitfulness'. Such beautiful meanings.
16 April 2008
COMPLAINING IN THE WILDERNESS - BITTER WATERS MADE SWEET
This evening I was drawn to the book of Exodus, and as I read these scriptures, I felt that there was something here that G_d wanted me to see. I remembered a long time ago I looked up the meaning of my name, and I was quite disappointed when I discovered that my name meant 'bitterness'.
Elaborated from Mary and Marah.
Marilyn = Mary + Ellen
Here in the scriptures, it is Marah +Elim - bitter and sweet, or bitter became sweet.
Now, when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter.
Therefore the name of it was called Marah.
And the people complained against Moses, saying, "What shall we drink?"
So he cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters,
the waters were made sweet.
I was camping on these scriptures for a bit and I realized that the morning I went to church to receive word for my friend, and I got one single word 'bitterness', it was not for her but for me! I still carried a huge amount of bitterness in me because of my past. The past hurt and anger became bitterness.
So, I needed to get rid of the bitterness in my life! I had to forgive people and do what is necessary for my healing to spring forth; for the bitter water to be made sweet so that others can 'drink' from the living waters flowing through me, and I will be standing tall and grow, straight up, like a palm tree!
I prayed that G_d would help me to get rid of the bitterness in me; to forgive and to heal and to replace the bitterness with sweetness. Let this palm tree bear good fruits so that people can find shade under it!
The Israelites travelled to a place called Marah which meant 'bitter'…just like my name. Moses had to cut down a tree and throw it into the water to make the water sweet. So I asked God to show me what tree in my life I should be cutting down to throw into the water. The people could not drink from the water of Marah because it was bitter – just like the people could not yet drink from the sweet living water flowing through me because there was bitterness in my life blocking those wells. From Marah, they travelled to a place called Elim. At Elim, there were 70 palm trees and G_d said to them that he is the G_d who brings healing!
24 April 2008
ENTER THE PROMISED LAND
The business was quiet and I had a lot of time on my hands. I read from a few different books and mostly from the book of Exodus, and so much of what I read was about Moses. I felt G_d definitely wanted to teach me or show me something through the life of Moses or his character - I wasn't sure, but Moses was popping up everywhere in what I read.
I heard a pastor say that the whole walk of the Israelites through the desert for 40 years going into the Promised Land is a prophecy of how the church would walk today in the New Testament. I did not understand this statement at the time but I kept it in mind as I read through the story of Moses. I started seeing and understanding why he would have said that and how it was relevant. God is asking His church to mature, to grow up so He could position us under his authority to make a difference in this world. It is time to stop complaining about what we do not have and focus on God’s will for our lives and cross our personal Jordan and enter the 'Promised Land'.
We learn from the Israelites that they were never thankful for what G_d had done for them, and they had no faith. Their whole wilderness walk was done in mumbling and grumbling and complaining about what they did not have. Same with us, we can know that until we stop complaining and not appreciating our blessings we will not cross our personal Jordan! Every time we complain about 'I hate the way I look, I wish I had a bigger or nicer house, I wish my life was different. All these complaints do not please G_d and it blocks our blessings.
Oh, woe the day when you see Jesus face to face and all you have to show him are your worldly collections of things! Make sure you are busy with Kingdom work when he comes! What is Jesus going to do with the objects that you collected over the years? We need to set our priorities straight. We need to sit at his feet and lay down all the crowns that we have placed on our own heads!
At some point when the people complained about Moses, G_d told Moses to step aside so that He could consume them in a moment, and G_d did that!
G_d tolerated their complaints for a long time but then there came a day when G_d decided it was enough.
These past few weeks I stayed in the book of Exodus. I was so drawn to it and knew there was much G_d wanted me to read and see, and Moses was definitely highlighted.
I realized that I was in my personal desert and to read about Moses and the traveling through the wilderness was fitting.
When reading about Moses I found that his relationship with G_d was different from what we read about the relationship G_d had with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. It seemed the relationship with the latter four was more gentle in some way, and the relationship with Moses - from Moses' side - was one of a more volatile emotional friendship.
Moses seemed to have been someone with a short temper; much impatience. He also wasn't scared to argue with G_d and use an impatient tone with G_d and it is almost as if G_d returned that kind of tone with Moses.
One moment G_d spoke to Moses through a burning bush, telling him to lead G_d's people out of Egypt, and another moment G_d said He was going to kill Moses because Moses had not circumcised his own son.
When Moses came down from the mountain after he had received the tablets, after 40 days, he saw that the people made a golden calf to worship. Moses got so furious, lost his temper, and threw the tablets on the ground! These were tablets he received from G_d, having written on them with His own finger, and Moses threw it to the ground and it broke! I cannot imagine any other Bible character doing something like that!? And bear in mind, Moses spent 40 days in G_d's presence! (I can however imagine myself doing that). This is a temper out of control. G_d never spoke to the people directly, He only spoke through Moses. Moses was G_d's mediator and had to represent G_d and His character. [Moses represented G_d and the people represented the Church.] Then, after Moses broke the tablets he continued in his anger and went ahead melting that enormous amount of gold, waited for it to set, and then ground it into a fine powder, mixed it with water, and forced them to drink it. It must have taken a very long time to do all of this and even during this time he did not stop to think and release his anger but continued in it. One would think during that time he would calm down, manage to control his anger, and stop that vicious plan. Did he have unrighteous anger outbursts? It is almost as if Moses took the law into his own hands and made decisions without consulting G_d and acted out his anger in a way G_d did not instruct him. I just enjoyed pondering on these things and pulling Moses'character apart I could see that I would have probably done the same!
My desert walk became a true blessing in some ways! G_d was speaking often and in such amazing ways, and he taught me valuable lessons. One morning I heard in my heart that I should not try to run through the desert as fast as I could, instead, I should take it easy and look around to see the beautiful things that He wanted to show me, but running through makes me miss it. For example, the desert roses are so beautiful and I am racing past not noticing them.
I also realised that as those people did not have much during those 40 years of wandering around in the desert, so I could possibly expect the same. They were to grow up (mature) in the desert before they could enter the Promised Land and receive their inheritance.
Make peace with your desert walk, accept the journey and allow G_d to cut off the old man and bring you to maturity and a new man. He will sustain you and provide and give you what you need for the journey. Walk the journey one day at a time with G_d.
06 June 2008
PUTTING OFF AND CUTTING OFF
Cath told me that she was going to do a fast, and I decided to fast also. I was going to do a Daniel fast for three days. During the first morning of my fast, I received a call from my Tax Consultant. He had just completed my financials for 2006 and there was a substantial amount that needed to be paid. This came as a bit of a shock since my money well has dried up and there was no income at the moment. At the time of the phone call I remained calm but soon after I started to feel the pressure building up. I hadn't budgeted for that and I didn't have the money, and I cried. I realised that if I truly believed G_d would provide for me then I would not be stressed out about it. My tears meant I was not trusting G_d!
By the afternoon I was still in my fast and I started preparing supper for my family. I could not help myself, I had to put some food in my mouth! My immediate thoughts were that G_d would not speak to me now because I broke my fast! But I was reminded that G_d is not like us and I continued in faith that in the quiet hours of the night, when my family had gone to bed, I would sit at His feet and I would hear from Him.
I was still preparing supper and peeling the potatoes when my little boy (about 6 years old) came to me and asked me something about the seed of the potatoes. I started to answer him and suddenly it dawned on me that potatoes do not have seeds!? The potato itself becomes the seed! I finally understood the message that Angus Buchan share about having faith like potatoes. We need to become the seed; we need to ask G_d to plant us in the soil, and then we wait. We wait in faith and by His grace, we will grow and produce life! You and I, with all our experience with G_d, our testimonies, and the truth that He engraved onto our hearts will grow and produce life - but only if we are prepared to be planted in the soil.
It was late at night and everyone was already sleeping. I was curious to know about the number '8' since so much has happened during this year and I needed to understand what was going on. I looked up the number 8 in my book called 'Understanding the Dreams you Dream' by Ira Milligan. It said:
Genesis 17:12 probably reveals the correct meaning of '8' better than any other verse in the Bible. In it, God tells Abraham, “He that is 8 days old shall be circumcised among you…”
Paul explains the meaning of circumcision: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ (Colossians 2:11)
In other words, the symbolic meaning of circumcision and the meaning of the number '8' are the same. On the eighth day, we are to ‘put off’ our ‘old man’.
Another scripture that helps us understand '8' is Exodus 22:30. G_d told Moses to allow the newborn offspring of the sheep and oxen to stay with their respective mothers for 7 days, but on the eighth day, they were to be sacrificed to G_d. Sacrificing their flesh symbolizes the circumcision of our flesh, ‘putting off the old man’.
I was also curious to see what the number '9' meant, so I looked it up and in Ira Milligan's book it said: "the number '9' means 'Fruit' or 'Harvest'! (That was exciting!)
This made me understand what this year was about and what G_d was busy doing! It was as if G_d was allowing situations to help me ‘cut off’ the old ways.
Understanding this gave me hope and strength for that year ahead, the unknown and what was to come still. I felt I could endure anything as I now knew that G_d was in absolute control of everything concerning me, he was orchestrating every step!
During this desert walk, G_d showed me so much in scripture, in dreams, and in so many other ways. It was incredible! He walked with me through that desert every step of the way!
I learned that when I lay down all my earthly and fleshly needs and wants this year; if I took everything that my flesh was still holding onto, and I planted that in the soil, (put it in the ground for G_d) and completely trust G_d for it, then I can wait on G_d to make it grow!
However, when you plant a seed in spring that is meant to be planted in winter, then that seed will die in that soil. So then, I decided to take all my 'seed' and plant it without worrying about which would grow or not.
At the end of the year, I can stand back and look at my field and all the seeds I had sown and wait in excitement and expectation to see what seeds are sprouting!
Those seeds that do not spring forth in life are the seeds that were destined to die in the soil. I will trust that those were the seeds that G_d wanted to remove from my hand and field. So, I will not shed a tear over those. The seed that was meant to grow and yield a harvest will is what G_d wanted for me in this season.
Just as we set goals and targets for our businesses we need to set spiritual goals and targets. Don't look back at the end of the season and say: 'I did not yet plant that seed because I was too busy with other things'.
The farmer will plant and do whatever is necessary for the seed to grow and when he has done all that, he will water and wait in faith for the harvest.
You yourself should become a seed in the soil, and let G_d decide how you should grow. Your life will then become a blessing to others and you will glorify G_d through your life; a life dedicated to His will!
I went to bed, closed my eyes, and had a flash picture of beautiful Autumn leaves falling, like large maple leaves. It was beautiful! I had not really ever seen those kinds of leaves where I lived.
"Autumn is colourful, beautiful and implies that summer is over. Times are changing. Old things pass away to make room for the new. Sometimes the changes refer to putting off our old traditions to make room for new ways to come as when a tree drops its leaves in preparation of forming new buds for Spring." ~ Ira Milligan
07 June 2008
Yesterday I attended a lady's ministry morning with Cath, and the speaker was Lindie Gouws from MY World Ministries. She was the founder and editor of the most gorgeous magazine called MY World - a Christian magazine. The morning was absolutely beautiful. The setting was a flower farm and we sat amongst the trees and listened to her message. We each received a magazine that also included a DVD.
Today, I watched the DVD and it inspired me! On the DVD Lindie said: Although everything around us might be shaken - the things that are not of eternal value will be shaken, but when the Kingdom of God has taken root in your heart, it will not be shaken!"
We have to seek the will of our heavenly Father! We should count it a blessing that whatever is going wrong in our lives is the opportunity for our Father to draw us closer to Him so that we can fall in line with His will for us. He is moving us by His Spirit to help us get to that place. If it meant hurt for us during that process then we should stand strong and endure, and know that He will bring us through.
We have to repent. We need to turn our backs on the world and look toward G_d so that His values and principles can take root in our hearts; the principles of His Kingdom!
It is time for our values and principles to be replaced by G_d's values and principles. He is preparing the Bride. As long as the Bride runs after her own desires she cannot be made ready!
Lindie Gouws mentioned that the year 2007 was a year about life in the Spirit and removing stones in the hearts of people. A year of removing the stumbling blocks. These stumbling blocks prevent us from knowing the Father's heart and moving into His will for our lives.
I had a dream where I was standing on a stone wall in the river. Part of this wall was already broken down but some parts were still restricting the water from flowing. I was on this wall with a very big hammer breaking away large pieces of the stone wall and I watched how it plunged into the river. The stones had to be broken off to get the water to flow freely.
I was reminded of the scripture where David said: Search my heart oh God, and try me and know my thoughts, and see if there are any wicked ways in me." (Psalm 139:23.24)
Indeed, 2008 is a time for a new heart!
Read Chapter 6.1 "The Call for a New Heart".
21 June 2008
I felt I had some kind of oppression over me that I needed to be set free from, and my back pain is not going away. I shared this with Gwen and she suggested I met with a friend of hers, Gerda Pieterse who was also leading a community care group weekly from her home. It was arranged that I met with Gerda that Friday at 3 pm.
Before my appointment, Cath came over to pray with me and offer support. I shared with Cath the scripture that I had received on 16 April about the bitter waters that had to be made sweet.
Cath mentioned rejection and asked me about that in my life. I knew I had to deal with rejection my whole life; I always feared rejection from others and I always felt rejection from my own family. I do not know where it had an open door.
I was 37 years of age when G_d gave me the book of Haggai to study. This is the 37th book in the Bible! I was also 37 when G_d gave me the number 37. God stopped business for me and spoke to me about "cutting off" and "putting off" and a new heart!
Again I read the scriptures: Bitter Waters Made Sweet (Exodus 15:22-27)
(Add picture of my map through the Wilderness - Journal 4 page 37)
So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea; then they went out into the Wilderness of Shur. And they went 3 days in the Wilderness and found no water. Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah.
And the people complained about Moses, saying, "What shall we drink?" So Moses cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet.
There He made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there he tested them, and said, "If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of these diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you."
Then they came to Elim, where there were 12 wells of water, and 70 palm trees; so they camped there by the waters.
3 - "Conforms"
In the 3rd day G_d caused the dry land (ashamed land, Heb) to appear by dividing the waters. The dry ashamed land corresponds to our repentance and confession as we come out of sin into conformity to G_d's image. So we should be conformed in all three areas of our being - spirit, soul, and body.
~ Ira Milligan, 'Understanding the Dreams of Dream'
(Add picture from handwritten journal 4 page 38)
The waters of Marah are contrasted with the springs of Elim. Marah stood for the unbelieving, grumbling attitude of the people who would not trust G_d. Elim stands for G_d's bountiful provision! ~ Notes from NKJV
Marah : Elim
Bitter : Sweet
Unbelieving : Trust and Faith
Lacking : Abundant Provision
Old Life : New Life
2008 : 2009
"Please Jesus, show me through the Holy Spirit where the bitterness lies within me".
The only tree I know of is the lemon tree that I saw in a dream. It was in the backyard of someone's property (I did not recognise the property). The tree was hidden away, growing in an untidy garden. The grass underneath were dead, brown and messy but the lemons were beautiful and unlike any other lemon tree I had ever seen! The lemons were big and perfect.
I looked up the meaning of lemon in my dream book:
"Business deal gone sour" - oh well, that's fitting!
Maybe the tree in my life is Finances??
"Please Jesus, through the Holy Spirit please show me the tree in my life that I need to cast into the water."
I still haven’t heard about the tree that had to be cut off and thrown into the water to make it sweet. A friend of mine suggested I go see someone by the name of Gerda Pieterse and so I made the appointment. It was wonderful meeting Gerda. After praying and breaking things as G_d lead us she said she needed to give me something. When she returned she gave me a picture of a tree and this tree is called 'The Tree of Bitterness'! Oh wow, THIS was the tree that had to be cut off and thrown into the water! How amazing is G_d!? This tree grows on rejection and I sure had my fair share of rejection in my life. A door that opened even as a child and as I grew older it became stronger and bigger and developed into depression.
“A tree can be representative of a cursed or rejected person. (Spirit of Rejection)”
That night I turned to my Bible and read Exodus 15:22-27…the heading reads “Bitter Waters Made Sweet”
I prayed and I believe the tree was cut off and thrown into the water and it was done!
From Marah, the Israelites moved to a place called Elim where there were 70 palm trees and 12 wells of water. I knew there was a reason for the number of trees and wells and this I what I got….
“70” means either completely rejected or completely accepted. I knew G_d was telling me I was completely accepted! At Gerda’s house I forgave everyone I had to, we broke everything that had to be broken and I confessed and repented of everything that came to mind. G_d said that before him I was completely accepted.
The scripture also says that they went into the Wilderness of Shur. “And they went 3 days in the wilderness and they found no water.”
I also needed to know the meaning of the number 3…surely G_d does not mention numbers for no reason and this is what I got:
Three is to conform. On the third day, G_d caused the dry land (ashamed land) to appear by dividing the waters. The dry, ashamed land corresponds to our repentance and confession as we come out of sin into conformity to G_d’s image. So we should be conformed in all three areas of our being – spirit, soul and body. I could see that G_d was busy making me whole – he was cleansing me and putting me right with Him!
I looked at the map in my Bible to see where to from here. They travelled from Elim down to Sinai, and I prayed and said “Father please, take me from Elim straight to where they crossed the Jordan to enter the Promised Land.” I didn’t want to travel so far all the way down still!
During this time I still pondered on so many words and scriptures G_d showed me:
“Go to the mountains and gather wood” ~ Haggai
WOOD = “can represent something that must be crucified” “It can also represent a dryness in a person’s spiritual or business life therefore not bearing fruit.” ~ Ira Milligan
WELL = “Source and provision that is of God” ~ Ira Milligan
So much was given to me and everything fell into place and I understood everything G_d was busy doing in my life. He placed this book by Ira Milligan in my hands to guide me for that specific season.
G_d also started showing me certain colors and one of these was the color GOLD. Again, so perfectly in tune with what G_d was busy doing in my life.
GOLD = “It shows that the person has gone through a period of purification and can expect to walk in victory.”
It was wonderful meeting Gerda and I could see why Gwenie was always speaking so highly of her. She gave me