Mortified

Tom gave me a new garden for Mother’s Day. Planting everything took a lot of back-breaking work, but the results are beautiful. It was worth every pain. I have learned things that are important are always worth what it costs us to accomplish.

As it is in nature so it is in our hearts.

I mentioned briefly last week about an extended season God took me through of mortifying sin in my own heart. It was quite the process, and I believe God is wanting me to share it with you in an effort to help me remember and to hopefully help you and your marriage grow as well.

I was privileged to share this testimony with a group of ladies a few years ago, so I will use what I wrote then to share with you over the next couple of days.

Part One

Now that my children are grown the last few years have been a season of looking back at what has been and of looking forward to what will be.  Looking back has sadly brought much regret for the things that I didn’t do that I should have done and regret for the things I did do that I shouldn’t have done.  I felt much shame for what seemed to me to be failures.  I was frequently feeling discouraged.  I know this doesn’t sound very encouraging, but let me remind you that God’s ways are not our ways.  God was at work softening my heart, and preparing me for a wonderful work of His Grace.

Then, the Lord led me to read a book called Humility, by Andrew Murray.  It isn’t a very big book, but it is one that must be read slowly to digest.  I have been a member of this church for years!  I have heard most of the messages on Pride and Humility!  I should be well on my way to being a humble person, and I might add, I thought I was.  I was greatly deceived.

At the end of the book the author presents a 30-day challenge for those who truly desire to mortify pride and grow in humility.  As I read this page I felt as if the Lord was challenging me to do this:

The challenge was basically to put aside all reading, projects, journaling, and to focus on only one thing – asking God daily to reveal evidences of pride and to give grace to not only see it, but to repent of it.  Andrew Murray said that if I would do this then at the end of the month, I would begin seeing change in this area.

This is sadly where my journey of mortifying pride began.  I say sadly because I have been a Christian since December 7, 1969, and can honestly say that I am just beginning to see this sin.

First, let me explain to you that the first two weeks into my 30-day sabbatical I felt nothing.   In my pride I truly thought that maybe I was more humble than I realized.  The opposite was true.  After two weeks of continually asking God to show me evidences of pride in my life, Tom and I had a conflict.  It was on a Sunday morning while we were up front praying for people.  Tom was kneeling down praying behind a man, and a couple came up to me for us to pray for them.  I leaned down and tapped Tom on the shoulder.  When he looked up I TOLD him to come pray for this couple.  He looked at me like he didn’t understand, so I said it again!  He “obeyed” and joined me to pray for this couple.  On the way home, he said that I put him in a very awkward position.  He was praying earnestly for this man in response to the Holy Spirit’s leading, that is until I interrupted what God was doing and insisted he join me!   I was feeling justified in my mind about what had happened, while Tom stopped to fuel up the car.  I was sitting alone when I clearly heard the Lord say, “ your reaction to this conflict and what you did this morning is a demonstration of pride in your heart!  You assumed you knew better than Tom what I wanted him to do! I want you to humble yourself and repent to Tom.”  I  began to cry because I didn’t want to be the proud person that I was showing myself to be.  When Tom got in the car, he didn’t know what was wrong!  When I repented specifically for my pride, for assuming I knew what God was telling him to do the conflict seemed to dissolve.  From that day on the Lord began whispering in my ear evidences of pride as they happened in my thoughts, actions and motives.  It was quite overwhelming.  How could I have been so blind!

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I ask you, how is God answering your prayers to grow in godliness? Are you seeing evidences of God’s hand at work in your own heart? How are you responding as He whispers to your conscience?

About Debi Walter

Face it, marriage is hard work. But when cultivated daily the fruit produced will satisfy for a lifetime. We're here to help with ideas and encouragement along the way. Having been married 36 years and counting, we share what we've learned with practical tips, Biblical Truths, Date night ideas to help you plow your own vineyard for God's glory.
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12 Responses to Mortified

  1. Ouch. <- That's from the normal human "me".
    YIKES! <- That's from the musician "me".

    It's funny (sad, really) how with as much pride as we already deal with, we musicians can see pride pop up in places where we didn't even think we HAD a pride muscle!

    I think I might find a way to get a copy of this book shortly. And Debi? Thanks for sharing this struggle with us. I needed to see this post.

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    • Debi Walter says:

      Yes, Jason. Those who are in the forefront of ministry are the most vulnerable to this temptation. But even those who lament they aren’t in the forefront have pride issues. I’ve heard it said that Pride is the soil in which all other sins grow. Something to consider isn’t it? I find I say “ouch” quite a bit around here.

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  3. All, I can say is wow! I’ve read the Murray book before but have not taken that challenge. Ironically, I’m reading two books now in the same vein – “Humilitas” and “As I Told Me.” Both have to deal with issues of pride and self deception, which ALL of us are prone to! Thanks for being so honest and transparent.

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    • Debi Walter says:

      Tor,
      I read Humility every July (my birthday month) because each year I need a fresh reminder of where I’ve been and how kind God has been to me. I’ve never heard of the two books you mentioned. Def. have to check those out. Another good one is Humility, by C.J. Mahaney.
      About being transparent…I read these posts to Tom before hitting the Publish button asking if he was sure this is what we should do. He said, “without a doubt!” Thanks for the confirmation. It’s not always easy writing about my personal journey. But concerning mortifying pride–what could be better than exposing it!
      Blessings,
      Debi

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  4. Adam's Eve says:

    I battled excessive pride and self-centeredness in my first couple months of marriage. It’s an uphill battle, especially when you’re isolating yourself from the Body of Christ. Thankfully, God got a hold of my heart and radically opened my eyes to how my pride and selfishness was heaping destruction on my heart, walk with God, and my marriage. Growing in godliness is a daily process. I see my earnestness for spending time with God growing and my desire to control my husband diminishing. Yesterday I came across a book (can’t remember the title) but the subtitle was “How to Make Your Husband More Subversive.” I was shocked. Who would want to do that? Then sadly, it occurred to me that women have been trying to control their husbands since Eve took of the fruit in the Garden. We like to be in control but what we really need is Spirit control. Thanks for sharing! This really blessed me and I need the constant reminder to humble myself, make myself smaller, and allow God to be bigger.

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  7. I haven’t yet read the second half but can already feel your pain and discomfort, pride is so stealthy and subtil it comes in all shapes and sizes and leads us to sin in so many ways. Yes, I know pride. For me it stems from the defence mechanism of elevating myself because of insecurity and low self esteem, backing down felt a bit like trampling on myself. But God has also been working in this area, I can now see evidences of pride more clearly and the origin, I don’t want either so God is healing my heart day by day of both.

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    • Debi Walter says:

      Florence, The picture you give of pride being “stealthy” is excellent. I love the image it provides, and helps us see how insidious it is. Thank you for your several comments and for linking us to your blog. I read a few posts–enough to hear your heart and testimony on the amazing faithfulness of God in your life and the privilege it is to be made in His image.
      Blessings to you!
      Debi

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