Ready to Receive - Adam Wainwright

I love learning new lessons through old stories. As I read God’s Word, I consistently experience the Bible revealing new truths to me through old stories.


Often times when we’re on the road, Matt Holliday and I will listen to an audio Bible together. Recently, as we were listening to Isaiah, we paused the audio and both realized that, without question, this was a prophecy from God about the coming of Jesus.


“Here is My servant, whom I uphold, My chosen One in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on Him, and He will bring justice to the nations.” —Isaiah 42:1


I had never read that verse in this light before. As Matt and I discussed this and then brought it to the attention of another friend of ours, we were able to see the truth of this passage in a whole new way.


When you see the Old Testament validations of Jesus’ coming, it drives the point home that He really was the Messiah. Jesus didn’t just accidentally fulfill all those prophecies; He is exactly who God says He is. He came exactly the way God said He would come, where He would come, when He would come, who He would speak to, and how He would speak to them. When I read this prophecy and then see all of it come to fruition in the New Testament, it stops me in my tracks. This really is believable.


You can read something a million times, you can hear something a million times, but until your ears, your mind, and your heart are ready to receive it, it will go in one ear and out the other. But then there’s that one time that you’re ready to hear it and it sinks in—that’s when it makes a difference.


“Blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.” —Matthew 13:16-17


In the same way, recently Matt and I were listening to the book of Philemon. After listening to this short, one-chapter book, we both looked at each other and said, “That was interesting. I wonder why this is its own book in the Bible.” Having said that, I’m sure that for many people, the message found in that book has spoken to them just the way they needed, at the time when they needed it the most.


When Matt and I listen to the Bible together, we pause it and ask questions. We discuss the things that we observe and glean from it as much as we can. By studying with someone else, I’m able to see a perspective that may be different from mine; I’m able to recognize things that I may not have noticed on my own.


“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” —Psalm 119:105


God doesn’t want us to just go through the motions when we read the Bible. He doesn’t want us to simply recite the same prayer to Him every day. He wants a relationship with us. God wants us to be honest and real with Him in the same way that He is with us.


“Present your case,” says the LORD. “Set forth your arguments.” —Isaiah 41:21


God tells us that He wants to struggle with us. He’s OK with us telling Him our arguments; He wants us to bring our requests to the table. This really is meant to be a relationship. And when we build a strong and lasting relationship with God, He will continue to reveal new truths to us through His Word.


—Adam Wainwright


Adam Wainwright is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions.


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