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Allowing the Holy Spirit to Rule

June 9, 2009

I am currently reading the biography of Rees Howells, an amazing intercessor and disciple of Christ who lived during the England revivals at the turn of the century. In it, he tells his friend and biographer about his conversion. He was an amazing boy, never questioning or disobeying his parents, working hard and contributing to his family’s meager subsistence as much as possible. He never gave into the temptations of the world – never gambled, never sought out women or pleasure in any way, and even kept from drinking even the smallest amount of alcohol. He often prayed to God, despite the fact that he was not a Christian, nor did he know of Jesus. Upon discovering the truth of Christ’s personal sacrifice at a small revival in a neighboring town, he immediately professed his belief.

However, he did not receive the Holy Spirit. He did not want to invite the Spirit to take over his life until he was absolutely certain he was willing to set himself aside completely. He struggled through this decision for five days, weighing the costs and benefits, examining the nature of complete sacrifice and his willingness to completely deny himself for the rest of his life. At the end of those five days, he had counted the cost, and invited the Holy Spirit to take over his heart, body and mind, that he might be used to bless God.

Rees Howells took this commitment seriously, far more seriously, I’m afraid, than I have. Have I really counted the cost? Have I truly given the Holy Spirit complete control, all decision-making power, and exhaustive reign of my heart, body and mind? Frankly, I’m not sure. I fear I haven’t. In the words of Paul, “… what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (Romans 7:15)

LORD, may we truly count the cost of a life surrendered to you, controlled completely by Your desire and will. Let us not take this decision lightly, but let us wrestle with this sacrifice, and come to a place of true conviction, placing our lives in your hands.

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