Editor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotionals from July 24 – 31 are provided by Pastor Yohan of Radiance Christian Church, San Francisco. Yohan graduated from University of Pennsylvania and Cairn University, where he studied theology. He is married to Mandie, and they have four children: Maggie, Jonathan, Abigail and Simon.
Devotional Thought for Today
39 Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of his word. 42 They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”
When I was in my 20s, I laughed at men who told me they practiced yoga. Though I knew yoga was a great way to relieve stress— limber one’s body and strengthen the core—I couldn’t get over how feminized the practice had become. You go to any yoga class and the ratio of guys to girls is something like 8:1. Plus, everyone wears these tight clothes, and all the instructors seem either too crunchy or too spacey. It just wasn’t for me, so I mocked it. Then I hit my 30s and noticed how tight my muscles had become—meaning, I started pulling muscles when I over exerted myself. Long story short, I tried yoga, and I really felt a difference. Now before you start laughing at me, I am not very consistent and still a beginner–and I don’t own tights! But I like it and would probably benefit from making yoga a part of my weekly routine.
Here’s the point: some things (like yoga) not only need to be experienced before they can be truly appreciated and understood, but until they are experienced from within, they will look silly and remain misunderstood. This is the truth the Samaritans of Sychar found out about Christ. Sure, at first they had the woman’s testimony, but when they themselves came to Him, invited Him into their homes to listen to Him, they truly experienced and believed in Him; and after that, their old ways of worship seemed silly and obsolete.
Oftentimes, people struggle with Christianity because they have not earnestly sought God out nor experienced Him. Such people will ask: “How is it possible for a prayer meeting or a retreat to be more fun than going to a party, watching a movie, or having a great dinner? Why would I spend my vacation time doing mission’s work in Romania, when I could be going to Hawaii? How could giving my money away be more rewarding that buying that really big TV? Why would I move to a foreign country to share about Jesus, when I could stay here and make a good living and have a good life?”
Maybe it’s because you haven’t experienced for yourself what living the Christian life is like. You haven’t felt the overwhelming presence of the Holy Spirit as you engage in worship; you haven’t invested in a person and watched him turn his life around, nor have you fasted and prayed for a person who would eventually break his addictions. Perhaps you’ve never taken a leap of faith and uprooted your life, only to see God provide in subtle yet miraculous ways, or you’ve never obeyed that still small voice and felt God’s pleasure upon you. You’ve never poured your energy out on a church plant and watch it grow to hundreds. Maybe you’ve never praised with the angels in heaven, because you’ve never helped anyone come to faith in Christ.
Look, I haven’t experienced all of those things either, but I’ve seen enough to keep me wanting more. Believe me when I say this: Christianity needs to be experienced practically, not just theoretically. If you have not truly experienced Christ, it is going to feel silly giving your life for it. This morning, be truthful with yourself: Have you truly tried to give yourself fully to Christ and His work, or are you still an outsider looking in?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to experience the life for which You have created me for. Please let me taste and see that You are good. Give me faith and resolution to follow after You with all my heart and really live this Christian life. Thank you for Jesus.
Bible Reading for Today: Psalm 124-125