To receive Christ as Saviour you give up your sin. To receive the Holy Spirit as Comforter you give up yourself. It is easier to give up sin than it is to give up self.
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. I intended to do it, but oh, the cost! I wept for days. I lost seven pounds in weight, just because I saw what He was offering me.
How I wished I had never seen it! 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. 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. I didn’t give my answer in a moment, and He didn’t want me to.”
It took five days to make the decision, days which were spent alone with God. There are certain experiences in life that only come as one is willing to spend time alone with God. Often very little transaction is done in public. Responding to altar calls and receiving ministry in meetings are good in kick starting a move towards God. Real encounter takes place when one is alone. That’s the place where you can really count the cost, and not say words you don’t mean or make pledges you can’t keep. Remember Jesus at the Garden of Gethsemane: He “went a little further”. Even His most trusted disciples could not join Him