It was October, a month in my part of the world when temperatures begin to dip and the leaves of many types of trees turn brilliant colors. The trees dazzled me with their autumn glory. Leaves sported deep reds, bright yellows, soft orange hues, and a beautiful color somewhere between green and yellow. I plopped down in the middle of a grove of trees to soak it all in. Then I lay down in a bed of leaves and gazed up at the blue sky. I was within a natural cathedral that swayed to and fro in the chilly fall wind.

As the trees danced and the leaves rustled, I was reminded of Jesus’ words in John 3:8: “The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.” Then Luke’s description in Acts 2:2 came to mind: “Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting.” In that pristine setting, I prayed that the Holy Spirit would blow into my life in a fresh way—the same amazing way He sweeps into people’s lives when they become believers in Jesus (Acts 2:4).

I desperately need the power of the Holy Spirit to do the work God has assigned to me. I need the Spirit to guide and direct me, for I dare not try to do God’s work in my own power—using my own limited resources and strategies. The apostle Paul wrote, “For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power” (1 Corinthians 4:20). Lives are transformed as we submit to the Holy Spirit’s work in and through us. And we’re filled with an invisible power that sweeps through us—allowing us to more perfectly love God and others.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Luke 16:19-31