When the Holy Spirit leads a follower of Jesus in a new direction, He requires four things of them: To hear from Him, to see that the change is also an invitation to move into greater intimacy and experience of Christ and His kingship; to make an all-inclusive decision to break from the present and finally, to move into the path that is before them.
I want to share an application that rises to the surface, one that has the capacity to move us deeper into Christ and our destiny while at the same time having the capacity to become an offense to us.
This was true of all Jesus’ teaching, and of every invitation He extended to His disciples and all who listened to Him. The invitation moved people deeper into their destiny in God or else became an offense to them. What makes the difference is how we respond to it. Those who will go deeper are those who willingly surrender themselves to Jesus and His kingship. Those who are offended see the implications and cost of what Jesus is saying, resist Him, and become offended.
I think about the potential for either as I ponder the nature of the invitation the Holy Spirit is extending to us as a church as we seek to be fully engaged in His ministry. He is inviting us to follow Jesus not merely as an apprentice His teaching, but as an active participant in His ways. Jesus said, (Luke 6:40) “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.”
The Holy Spirit is inviting us to willingly receive His reshaping and redefining our lives and their direction by constantly redirecting us to the kingship of Jesus Christ and His righteousness. And that will require us to hear from Him, see His invitation, choose to break away from the present, and move into what He is doing.
Are you willing to go that far – are you willing to follow Jesus in His ways no matter the cost to your position, reputation, or ministry paradigm? Or will going that far become an offense? Soon after Jesus feed over 5000 people with the bread and fish he supernaturally multiplied, some in the crowd saw an opportunity in Jesus’ power to make their lives easier. But He told them, “You are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not labor for food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” As they appealed to the fact that God had provided bread for them in the past through Moses, they challenged Jesus, was He providing the same thing? Was He truly from heaven?
John 6:32-36 (ESV), Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.  For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”  They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”  Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.  But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.”
In an instant He completely redefined their way of thinking and redirected them to find their life, satisfaction and every provision from willingly surrendering to Him. Later Jesus said, (John 6:57-58 (ESV), “As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me.  This is the bread that came down from heaven, not as the fathers ate and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” At this point John tells us the people became offended by the truth of Jesus’ invitation. Even some of His disciples turned away. John 6:66-69 (ESV), “After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.  So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?”  Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,  and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
When the Holy Spirit invites us to follow Jesus in His ways, He invites us to walk into territory and experiences wherwe’ve not been before. He is inviting us to live in deep intimacy with Jesus and in obedience to His directives and opportunities to release heaven on earth in the marketplace. Will you follow Him – and will you follow Him in His ways?
May the Holy Spirit give us ears to hear what He is saying to the church – for the glory of Jesus Christ and the spreading of His kingship to the ends of the earth.