Rees Howell’s Encounter of Surrendering to God

This is an excerpt from Rees Howell: Intercessor, a very powerful book about a powerful servant of God. In one of his chapters “The Holy Spirit Takes Possession,” he chronicles what it’s like to surrender to God.

I found his account very inspiring and challenging:


“The Holy Spirit Takes Possession”

…The Holy Spirit appeared to me and and I knew him to the One who had spoke to me the day before and shown me that place of splendor and glory into which natural eyes can never look. It never dawned upon me before that the Holy Ghost was a Person exactly like the Savior, and that He must come and dwell in flesh and blood. In fact the Church knows more about the Savior, who was only on the earth thirty-three years, than about the Holy Ghost who has been here two thousand years. I had only thought of Him as an influence coming on meetings, and that was most of what us in the Revival though. I had never seen that He must live in bodies, as the Savior lived on earth.

The meting with the Holy Spirit was just as real to Reese Howells as his meeting with the Savior those years before. “I saw Him as a Person apart from flesh and blood, and He said to me, “As the Savior had a body, so I dwell in the cleansed temple of the believer. I am a Person. I am God, and I have 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 your self.’”

“He made it very plain that He would never share my life. I saw the honor 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. From the meeting Rees went out into a field where he 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 26 years, and coule I easily give it up? Who could give up his life up to another 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 it very plain in Roman 6. But once this is done in reality, it is done forever. I could not run into this.

“I intended to do it, but oh the cost! I wept for days. I lost 7 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 He had only come to take what I had already promised the Savior, not in part, but the whole.”


Phil Chan
Phil Chan
Phil has been writing for over 15 years. His passion is to help people see God and to live a life that matters.

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