Having covered the top ten teachings according to the frequency with which Christ taught (seen on page 133 of the download ‘What on earth have we done with the teachings of Jesus’). We are now continuing with Christ’s additional teachings. The next of these is to ‘Be faithful’.
His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ Matt 25:21
The command to be faithful
Are there any more critically important words to hear? ‘Well done, good and faithful servant’… It is from the Parable of the Talents. A master goes away and gives three of his servants varying amounts of ‘talents’ with the hope of a return on his investment. On his return, the ones that had increased that initial investment were given the above commendation. The one who had not was cast out into outer darkness. This is a warning regarding what we do, with what we have been given. A command to be faithful.
How might we be among that host of faithful servants? By living a fully surrendered life. This then empowers us, with the Holy Spirit working through us, to be faithful.
I have recently started reading the biography of ‘Rees Howells: Intercessor’ by Norman Grubb. Having read of Howells’ encounter with the Holy Spirit (three years after his initial conversion), I realise that many of us come short of entering into that fully surrendered life.
Howells had been ‘saved’ for three years before he came to the conclusion that he wasn’t fully surrendered. He had decided to go to the Llandrindod Wells Convention to seek the Lord. On the first morning the preacher, Rev Evan Hopkins, spoke on Eph 2:1-6. “You hath He quickened.. and hath raised us up .. and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus”. It was then that Howells realised that he had been quickened by Christ, but he had not been raised up with Christ, to be seated with Him in that place of power. He accepted this new offer from the Holy Spirit and ‘all that night he was in the presence of God and the glorified Saviour.’
The person-hood of the Holy Spirit became real to him
From that moment on, the person-hood of the Holy Spirit became very real to him for the first time. He said to him, ‘As the Saviour had a body, so I dwell in the cleansed temple of the believer (1 Cor 6:19 – Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?). 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… 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 – I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.) But if I come in, I come as God, and you must go out (Col 3:2-3 – Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God). I shall not mix Myself with yourself’. Howells goes onto say, ‘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… He 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.’ He went into a field and cried his eyes out for he knew what it would cost him.
Exposing the root of the nature – self
The Holy Spirit reminded him that He had only come to take what Howells had already promised the Saviour when he was first saved, not in part, but the whole. It took him five days to make the decision. The Holy Spirit went on dealing with him, exposing the root of the nature which was self. He said that sin had already been cancelled, but it wasn’t sin He was dealing with, it was ‘self’. He was not going to take any superficial surrender. He put His finger on every part of his self-life and Howells was given the chance to decide in cold blood. He could never take that thing away until Howells gave his consent. Then the moment he did give it, some purging took place and he could never touch that thing again. It was not him saying he was purged and the thing still having a hold on him. No it was a breaking and the Holy Spirit was taking control. Day by day the dealing went on. The Holy Spirit took him through grade after grade. The process of changing one’s nature (replacing self-nature by the Divine-nature) and it was very slow and bitter. It was a daily dying and showing forth the life of Christ.. every selfish motive and every selfish thought was dealt with by the Holy Spirit.
Are you willing to be made willing?
Over a period of five days each main point had been faced. For Howells these included: money, being able to make a ‘home’, ambition and reputation … The Spirit summed up the issue for him: ‘On no account will I allow you to cherish a single thought of self, and the life I will live in you will be one hundred per cent for others. You will never be able to save yourself, any more than the Saviour could when He was on the Cross. Now, are you willing?’ The Holy Spirit wanted a firm decision, reminding him that ‘his will’ must go, ‘on no account will I allow you to bring in a cross-current. Where I send you, you will go; what I say to you, you will do’… finally the Spirit gave him one last offer, ‘if you can’t be willing, would you like Me to help you? Are you willing to be made willing?’… finally Howells surrendered ‘Lord, I am willing’. Within the hour the Holy Spirit had come in. He was given the word in Hebrews 10:19 – Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus. Immediately Howells was transported into another realm, where the Father, the Saviour and the Holy Spirit live. Howells goes on to say, ‘there I heard God speaking to me, and I have lived there ever since’. When the Holy Spirit enters, He comes in to ‘abide for ever’.
In Howells own words ‘it is God who goes as far as to give us repentance. It was God who helped me to give up my will’.
Adapted from the biography of ‘Reec Howells: Intercessor’ by Norman Grubb.
Romans 12:1-2 “Your will be done” A complete commitment is required A surrender to God, our Father Of all those things we have desired. It is natural to want to hold onto things To withhold and then slowly release. But we are to let go of everything now And receive His wonderful peace. What is God’s will for us? He wants us to joyfully say Your will be done in my life. I only want to walk in Your way. By the late Andrew Feakin (passed away 16th March 2019)
Prayer: Father, Your will be done Lord in my life. Help me be willing to lay my will down that You alone live in me. In the name of Christ I pray. Amen.