Today's Bible Readings
     Exodus 23
     Job 41
     John 2
     II Corinthians 11
''But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." (II Corinthians 11:3)
            It is amazing how often believers tend to complicate the Christian life. One of the greatest dangers of becoming mature in Christ is that we see ourselves as so deep and sophisticated in the things of God that we lose sight of the simplicity of the Christian Gospel and of our Lord's desire for intimacy with his children. Just as Eve was deceived by the craftiness of the serpent, the minds of believers are turned from the simple truths and activities that really matter in the building of the kingdom of God.
            So many believers are confused today. New winds of doctrine, weird movements in Christian media, good sounding ideas from charismatic speakers, and entertaining music distract many believers from simple habits like prayer, Bible study, and practical ministry. Simplicity is the secret of seeing things clearly. It is not your intellectual reasoning that makes the Christian life clear; it is obedience. You will never reach correct conclusions in your theological reasoning through your intellect. These answers come through complete and immediate obedience to His directions.
             I recently watched a TV show called "Lucky Dog" featuring animal trainer Brandon McMillan. It was amazing and entertaining. In this episode, he was training a dog that had no previous training and was developing him into a professional model dog. He made this statement, "you can't get to aced training until you settle the obedience issue." How true that isn’t the Christian life. If there is something in your life in which God has put His pressure, then obey Him in that matter. Bring all your ''arguments and . . . every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ''. (II Corinthians 10:5) Then it will become clear to you. Your reasoning capacity will come later. But reasoning is not how we see. We see like children, and when we try to be wise we see nothing.
            Even the most insignificant matter that we allow in our lives that is not under the absolute control of the Holy Spirit will cause spiritual confusion. When you spend time thinking about it, it still does not become clear. Spiritual confusion can only be conquered through obedience. As soon as we obey, we have discernment. Obey Him and walk in the power of the Holy Spirit, in simplicity, and in submission, and you will experience the power of God.
            I believe this is why new believers seem to have such a freshness and effectiveness. They are not yet complicated. They are living in simple obedience to their newfound Master. Mature believers can learn something from them.  Keep it simple!
            Our prayer today is focused on the Czech Republic in Europe. With its more than 10 million inhabitants, and more than 1 million of them in its capital, Prague, the official language is Czech, but there are 8 different languages. All of the languages have Scripture.
            The diverse industrialized society has recently suffered from uneven implementation of marked capitalism and, despite much foreign investment, significant recession has taken place since 1997.  People there struggle to find meaning in life, and they deal with a total of 335,000 gypsies in the Czech Republic. Communism is a fading memory and the transition to another social paradigm has not been easy. The free market capitalism has left its trademark, welcoming Hedonism for a few with increased economic stress for many. The floods of 2002 have added to this difficulty.
            There are divisions among the leadership of the Christian church and we need to pray for their unity. Very little is being done for evangelistic outreach despite general interest in spiritual things. A lifestyle evangelism with a willingness to be a bold, outspoken witness for Christ is one of the urgent needs in this country. The best group to reach the lost of the Czech Republic is those who are already saved among their people. The greatest purpose for our missionaries is to train them in how to be an effective witness for Christ. There is really no other purpose for them being there if they are not training nationals to build churches, Christian schools, to do evangelism and discipleship.
''It was said of D. L. Moody that he was as humble as a child before God, and as bold as a lion before men."