To assist you in spending time each day asking God for the overflowing presence of the Holy Spirit, we will share a brief devotion several times each week for the next two weeks. They come from Nicky Gumbel, creator of the Alpha Course. If you would be interested in his daily devotional, find it here: Bible in One Year. I encourage you each day to launch from Nicky’s concluding prayer into your own time of asking the Holy Spirit to reveal to you more of Jesus, and to let His power move powerfully in your life. Today’s text begins below:
Robbie Williams once went on a shopping spree in Los Angeles. He bought seven cars including a brand new Ferrari, a brand new Porsche and a brand new Mercedes. Within a week he was wishing he had not bought any of them.
I admire Robbie Williams’ openness about himself. He is ruthlessly honest about his self-obsession and addictions. In his song, Feel, he sings:
I just want to feel real love …
There’s a hole in my soul
You can see it in my face
It’s a real big place
God implants this desire ‘to feel real love’ in humanity. This ‘hole in my soul’ is common to all human beings. It cannot be filled by cars, wealth, success or drugs. It is a God-shaped hole. It is a spiritual hunger and thirst. Jesus said that if we come to him and drink, he will satisfy this spiritual thirst by giving us the Holy Spirit to live within us (John 7:37).
1. Seek the fruit of the Spirit
‘The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life’ (11:30). As we look back at Proverbs 11, we can see this as a summary of all the different fruit of the righteous, which is so similar to the fruit of the Spirit that the apostle Paul describes in Galatians 5:22:
- Love (Proverbs 11:23)
- Joy (v.10)
- Peace (v.8)
- Patience (v.16)
- Kindness (v.17)
- Goodness (v.17)
- Faithfulness (v.6)
- Gentleness (v.2b GNB)
- Self-control (v.12)
The image of ‘a tree of life’ also links to the work of the Holy Spirit. In the book of Revelation, we see ‘the river of the water of life … On each side of the river stood the tree of life’ (Revelation 22:1–2). This is closely linked to Ezekiel 47 where we see the river of the water of life flowing out of the temple. As the river gets deeper and deeper the prophet sees ‘a great number of trees on each side of the river’ (Ezekiel 47:7). ‘Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing’ (v.12; see also Revelation 22:2).
Prayer to guide you today:
Lord, I pray for more of the fruit of the Holy Spirit in my life today: more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.