“When the Holy Spirit comes in, He comes as God to lead, not to follow. He comes in to possess, not to be possessed. He comes to intercede, not to cede His right as Intercessor. He comes to live Christ’s life, not ours”.

The disciples of Jesus had Him right in front of their eyes. Jesus was tangible and physically present with them. Yet Jesus assures us that in our time we will not be at a disadvantage. He said, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7). Then our fellowship with the Holy Spirit should be as real and meaningful as what the disciples had with Jesus.

Rees Howells meets the Holy Spirit

The meeting with the Holy Ghost was just as real to Rees Howells as his meeting with the Saviour those years before. “I saw Him as a Person apart from flesh and blood, and He said to me, ‘As the Saviour had a body, so I dwell in the cleansed temple” of the believer. I am a Person. I am God, and I am come to ask you to give your body to Me that I may work through it. I need a body for My temple (1 Cor. 6:19), but it must belong to Me without reserve, for two persons with different wills can never live in the same body. Will you give Me yours? (Rom. 12:1). But if I come in, I come as God, and you must go out (Col. 3:2, 3). I shall not mix Myself with yourself.’

“He made it very plain that He would never share my life. I saw the honour He gave me in offering to indwell me, but there were many things very dear to me, and I knew He wouldn’t keep one of them. The change He would make was very clear. It meant every bit of my fallen nature was to go to the Cross, and He would bring in His own life and His own nature.”

It was unconditional surrender. Rees cried his heart out, because, as he said, “I had received a sentence of death, as really as a prisoner in the dock. I had lived in my body for twenty-six years, and could I easily give it up? Who could give his life up to another person in an hour? Why does a man struggle when death comes, if it is easy to die? I knew that the only place fit for the old nature was on the cross. Paul makes that very plain in Romans 6. But once this is done in reality, it is done for ever. I could not run into this.

One thing He reminded me of was that He had only come to take what I had already promised the Saviour, not in part, but the whole. Since He died for me, I had died in Him, and I knew that the new life was His and not mine. That had been clear in my mind for three years. So He had only come to take what was his own: and I saw that only the Holy Ghost in me could live like the Saviour. Everything He told me appealed to me; it was only a question of the loss there would be in doing it.

It took five days to make the decision, days which were spent alone with God.

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