Sometimes we hear people say things like, “I need more of the Holy Spirit in my life” or “I want the fullness of the Spirit.” There is nothing direly wrong with this language, and yet it may evince a subtle danger in our thinking about the Holy Spirit. Sentiments like those above communicate, at some level, that we use the Spirit. If the Spirit were, as some suppose, merely a force, a power or some kind of divine energy, then perhaps this language and the underlying sentiments would be more acceptable, but this is not at all the case.

The Spirit is “the Third Person of the Godhead” (Desire of Ages, p. 671). This is manifestly clear language. Here is the statement in its larger context:

“The Spirit was to be given as a regenerating agent, and without this the sacrifice of Christ would have been of no avail. The power of evil had been strengthening for centuries, and the submission of men to this satanic captivity was amazing. Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world’s Redeemer. It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ has given His Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress His own character upon His church.” (Desire of Ages, p. 671)

The Holy Spirit is more than a divine power, He is a divine Person! And not only this, but He is a member of the Godhead! Now the picture is coming clear. Since the Holy Spirit is fully God (Acts 5:3-4) and possesses personhood, just as Jesus and the Father do (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14), our language and thoughts about the Spirit should communicate clearly that it is Him that uses and employs us, not the other way around.

Thoughts are wrapped in language, therefore we need to labor to be precise, careful and intentional with our words. This is especially the case, of course, when it comes to speaking about God. Language possesses necessary and inherent limitations when it comes to things eternal and divine. God cannot be contained in or confined by human language. And yet, language can get us heading in the right direction. Why else would God employ it at all?

As I’ve been studying the Holy Spirit’s person and work, I’m finding myself saying, “the Holy Spirit needs more of me” and “the Spirit needs my fullness.“ Since the Holy Spirit is not a power, but a person, He is not to be used by me; I am to be used by Him.

Please, Spirit, use me to accomplish Your purposes on Earth. Amen.