Exhortation

A Branch in the Vine: A real life experience: Rees Howell, Intercessor

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Rev. Dr. Paul Jinadu

"In future, as a steward," the Lord said, "you will not have the right even to give without My permission. And not a penny of My money will be spent except on essentials." Explaining what He meant by this, the Lord asked him, "If you had a family of children who were without food or clothing, would you spend a penny on a daily paper, or on any non-essential?" "No." "Well, the world is My parish, and while there is one person needing the necessities of life, you will not spend a penny on anything else."

He faced what it would mean to lose that joy of giving, and the bondage he would be in for the rest of his days. But he had come before God to pay his vow. So, turning from the path, he knelt on the grass at the side of the road, and as there was no one else present, he called the stars and the cloud of witnesses to record that from that night on he was only a channel.

As he walked on the enemy whispered, "Do you know what you have done? You are worse off than a man in Swansea jail. He gets a little which he can spend when he comes out, but you will never have a penny." "Yes," answered Rees, "but, remember this -- I did it by choice." The moment he said that, "it seemed as if the whole heavens were illuminated," and the Holy Spirit said to him, "Let Me tell you what you have done. To-night I have grafted you into the Vine, and all the sap can flow through you. You are a branch in the Saviour. The branch gets nothing -- it is the needy that get the fruit. But after tonight, from this place of abiding, whatever the Father wants to pour out to the world through you, He can do so. 'Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit.' Because you have done this for Me, you are no longer a servant, but I have called you a friend." A friend of the Trinity! It was a personal revelation of the Saviour's words in John 15, and for days, Rees said, the joy and realization of it overcame him.

For the next eighteen months he never spent a penny except on necessities; and it was through that period that he had all sense of the ownership of money taken out of him. The real test, as it often is, was on a very fine point, and did not come for four months. It was a matter of one penny and, as he remarked, "it shows how keenly the Husbandman watches the branch."

At the last Llandrindod Convention he had met a gentleman from London, Mr. John Gosset. This friend had asked for his address, and then at Christmas sent him two books and a card. The conflict came over the desire to send a New Year's card back to him with a letter of thanks. He said, “I naturally wanted to return the compliment. I thought, It will only cost me a penny; but the Holy Ghost made plain that what mattered was not the amount, but the principle, and the obedience in maintaining the position.”

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