One of my favorite shows to watch has become America Ninja Warrior. If you have never seen the show, it is a reality show where people run through an overwhelmingly hard obstacle course that requires pure, brute strength and athleticism to get through each obstacle. The goal is to make it to the finale, a chance to try and conquer the infamous “Mount Midoriyama”, an insane obstacle course that no man has yet to defeat.
One thing that stood out to me as I watch this show is the extreme level of dedication and devotion these athletes have to this event.
They don’t train for a few weeks.
They don’t hit the gym right before the event to pump themselves up.
They don’t take 5 minutes a day and do some pushups.
They train hours every day, 365 days a year! It isn’t a hobby to them. It’s a mission! Their lives are devoted to make themselves as fit and trained as they can possible be so they can conquer the obstacles that are standing between them becoming the first “America Ninja Warrior”.
I was stunned as I watched stories of past contestants who were returning to try again in the new season. These people were obsessed! Many knew exactly where they slipped up last season, and they were bound and determined to not be defeated again.
After their failure the previous year, many returned home and constructed replica’s of the obstacle that caused them to be defeated. They were not going to stay beaten down and defeated. They were going to train as hard as was needed, go to whatever lengths necessary, train as hard as possible, and take any steps they could to help them grow and conquer new heights. They are determined to achieve the title of “America Ninja Warrior”, and no amount of pain, difficulty, or effort is too much to keep them from growing.
As I watched the sheer determination and grit of these contestants, I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen in the kingdom of God if His people had the safe vicious hunger to defeat and conquer all that stands in the way of reaching their full potential as God’s children?
What if we attacked our weaknesses, sins, and strongholds that keep defeating us, conquering us, and knocking us to the ground with the safe sense of veracity and determination? Would the enemy stand a chance? How much ground could we conquer for the kingdom?
Paul got what the Ninja Warrior contestants understand. Victory requires work and effort on our end. It doesn’t just happen. It requires effort.
“…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling…” Philippians 2:12
“I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things.” Philippians 3:12-15
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
All these verses show us that effort, work, and determination, much like that demonstrated on America Ninja Warrior, are needed to become all God destined you to be.
Do you have what it takes to be a Christian Ninja Warrior?
I think this is an awesome comparison we can all make to our own individual lives.
How much training do we put into our spiritual journey through the obstacle course of life?
Do we devote ourselves fully to the task of growing in our spiritual walk?
Is our Christian life a hobby or a commitment?
Will we do whatever it takes to train for the ultimate prize?
Will we study, analyze, and train hard to conquer the obstacles that keep us knocked down and defeated?
Are we obsessed with conquering each of our enemies that stand in our way?
What price will we pay, how far will we go, and how much pain can we endure to stand victorious?
These are tough questions we all must face. Ultimately, the question is, "Are we tough enough to face them?"
Is our drive, passion and desire strong enough to push us forward to face the tough challenges?
Do we have what it takes to be an “Christian Ninja Warrior”?
It is a question each can only answer for himself.