Happy Monday Everyone!
Last night was Part 3 of our Awakening Team Ninja Warrior Series. This week the message was “Overcoming Obstacles”. We started the evening off by praying for the Foxborough Park Community where we are teaming up with the Salvation Army to reach the families of the neighborhood, and the flood victims in southern West Virginian who have lost their homes, friends, and loved ones in what many are calling a 1 in 1,000 year amount of rainfall.
The message was “Overcoming Obstacles”. We looked at Hebrews 11:1-3; 6-12; 17-19NIV,
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.
3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.
8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 19 Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.
Noah built the ark without having physical evidence that it would actually happen, and he and his family were saved.
Abraham received the promise that God would make him in to a great nation. The problem was that Abraham was around 100 years old and his wife, Sarah, around ninety years old. This was a pretty big obstacle considering people that age don’t have babies. However, God delivered even though they didn’t always cooperated and tried to do things there own way. Abraham and Sarah had baby named Isaac, and it was through Isaac that the promise given to Abraham was to be fulfilled.
There was a major obstacle that presented itself— God told Abraham to sacrifice his only son. Would a loving God actually do this? This event is often used by many atheists to argue that a loving God would never ask someone to do this. When reading the full story in Genesis 22:1-19, you see Abraham’s faith at work. He says in Genesis 22:5, “He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.” Abraham new that God would provide for him as he faced this obstacle. Hebrews 11:19 says, Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death. Hebrews 10:23 says, Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. I believe that Abraham understood this concept. God WILL NOT go back on his word or promise to you. Hebrews 11:1 tells us that, Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Abraham didn’t see or know how God would provide, but he knew that he would. The reality is this—before Abraham could receive his promised blessing, he had to lose it. Abraham had to relinquish control, and surrender his hopes and dream to God. God came through just as he does today! Many times we panic because we don’t see God and wonder why he isn’t moving the obstacle from our path. The truth is that sometimes God will remove the obstacle, but many times he is standing at the top wanting us to overcome the obstacle to deepen and strengthen our faith in him! The reason we often times can’t see God is because we are looking at our obstacle instead of looking up at him.
We challenged the youth to with this statement: “Be careful to not ask God to remove an obstacle from your path that he is standing at the top of waiting for you to meet him. It’s better to climb an obstacle with God than to walk an easy path without him!”
After the message, we went outside for our team competitions where teams had to complete an obstacle course using what they had learned from all three weeks of the series: Preparing for battle (they had to develop a strategy for completing the course), Teamwork (they had to work together to complete the course), and Overcoming Obstacles (they had to work and trust their teammates to overcome the obstacles throughout the course). You can check our some of the videos below.
You have to let go before you can overcome!
Have a great week!