If your like most of the country, you have been watching Australian Ninja Warrior, the highest ranking, non-sports program of 2017.
The show captured the imagination of the nation wondering who had what it takes to climb Mt Midoriyama?
The Bible tells stories of spiritual Ninja warriors. Of those who have wrestled lions, scaled walls, walked through fire, slain giants, defied death, come back from the grave.
Ephesians 6:12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Unseen obstacles, tricky balancing acts, walls impossible to scale, taunting fear and doubt.
Hebrews 12:18, 22 You have not come to a physical mountain… No, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.
You can make it to the top of Mt Zion.
How to be an Australian Spiritual Ninja Warrior
It's not over
Psalm 37:24 that “though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.”
Samson learned that when you bounce back, you are stronger than before. Job learned that bouncing back leads to blessing. Daniel learned that bouncing back makes you smarter. Paul learned that bouncing back keeps you flexible. Ruth learned that bouncing back can be better than your wildest dreams.
I'm not sure what has knocked you down, what has taken the wind from your sails – broken marriage, abuse, illness, financial ruin, shame of sin – but your story is not over.
Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me. (Micah 7:8, King James Version)
Preparation is king
Keep showing up
Hebrews 12:11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
Be prepared for the unpredictable
She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows; their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear. (Proverbs 31:21, The Message)
David didn't expect a giant, Moses didn't expect a burning bush, Jael didn't expect Sisiera to show up in her tent, Paul didn't expect to encounter Jesus on the Damascus road. But they rolled with it.
1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.
Sometimes it's a matter of holding on.
Fished all night and caught nothing? Hold on.
Still no baby in your arms and you're ninety? Hold on.
Thrown into prison for something you didn't do? Hold on.
Anointed King but on the run? Hold on.
Spending a night with lions? Hold on.
The Messiah killed on a Roman cross. Hold on. Sunday is coming.
Let the crowd carry you through
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
You are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses – past and present – cheering you on. Tune into those voices. Not the voice of doubt. Not the voice of fear. Not the voice of quit. Not the voice of failure.
Focus, focus, focus
Hebrews 12:2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
Philippians 3:13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead
There's a mountain we've got to climb
It may not be Mount Midoriyama. It is the mountain of God. And we are ever reaching higher.
Psalm 24:3-6 Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god. They will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God their Savior. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, God of Jacob.
Philippians 3:14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.