And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. —Matthew 11:6, KJV
Some of us find it easier to be open to the Word than to the Holy Spirit. Being open to the Word directly is to be open to the Spirit indirectly—as the Spirit applies that Word. But being open to the Spirit is when He manifests Himself in an immediate and direct manner.
We feel safe with the Word but fearful that the Holy Spirit may lead us out of our comfort zone. But the Holy Spirit to whom we should be open is the Author of the Bible, and He will not lead us in any way that is contrary to what He has written through His sovereign instruments. We are as safe with the Spirit as we are with the Word. And yet if we are not open to the Spirit, we will likely never experience some of the very same things described in the Word.
When one is offended by the Spirit, it is because he is offended by God. It is not possible to find God pleasant and to find the Holy Spirit offensive. It is incongruous to affirm all that Jesus Christ was and did, then turn around and reject the Holy Spirit. The persons of the Godhead are united. Equally, each has His own stigma. The Holy Spirit mirrors the other persons of the Godhead; therefore, how we respond to the person of the Spirit may show what we really feel about either the Father or the Son.We must affirm God as He is—the Holy Spirit is God. When our hearts are truly right with God, we will find that God is not offensive at all! We will instead find Him glorious! But we must take God as He is and be prepared to affirm the presence of the Holy Spirit—however God may sovereignly choose to reveal Himself.
Excerpted from The Anointing: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow (Charisma House, 2003).