Hey Awakening Youth Family!
We had a blast Sunday as we kicked off our “Awakening Team Ninja Warrior” Series with Part 1— Preparing for Battle. Much of the series is based off of the competition seen on TV known as American Ninja Warrior and Team Ninja Warrior.
By definition, a ninja warrior would be someone who is an experienced in warfare and trained in the ancient Japanese martial arts for assassinations. The athletes in the ninja warrior competition train and prepare their bodies to overcome some of the most intense physical obstacles an athlete will see. What does this have to do with our walk with God? EVERYTHING!
Whether we realize or not, we are in spiritual warfare. Ephesians 6:12NLT says, 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. Just like the military prepares for battle by learning about their adversary, weapons, and their fellow soldiers, it is important for us to do the same in the spiritual battles we face.
We looked at the spiritual armor that God gives us in Ephesians 6:10-20— the Belt of Truth, Breastplate of Righteousness, Gospel of Peace, Shield of Faith, the Helmet of Salvation, and the sword of the Spirit. While it’s not an actual piece of armor, prayer helps us connect with God to receive guidance and instruction for the battles we face.
We did four different team games after the message, and each week the competition will get a little more physically intense.
The first game we did was jousting in office chairs with pool noodles. One person on the team was seated in the chair with a wad of tape on their shoulder and a pool noodle in their hands. Their teammate pushed them towards the opponent, screaming at the top of their lungs while they tried to knock the wad of tape off of their opponents shoulder. Yes, this was as wild and fun as it sounds! The lesson from this game was that when we are in spiritual warfare, we have to be focused on God as we courageously approach our opponent (Satan) to win the battle in front of us.
The next game we did game required the teams to squeeze all of the juice out of a lemon into a cup. Once the team had done that four times, they had to take a teaspoon of the lemon juice and put it into a small cup of water with each team member having to drink a cup of the lemon water. The lesson in this game was that just like the teams had to squeeze all of the juice from the lemons, God desires us to give everything we have to him as we fight our battles. While the athletes in America Ninja Warrior give everything they have to conquer the obstacles in front of them, it is important that we do the same as we face obstacles in life.
Just as a fun fact—athletes competing in American Ninja Warrior actually incorporate lemon water into part of their morning diet.
The next activity involved the team hearing a situation and then determining what piece of armor they should use if they were in that situation. This helped to review the armor of God and what each piece is used for.
The last activity tested everyone’s balance. We put three parking blocks together that the teams had to race across to see who could complete the task the fastest. The catch was that there were youth staff hitting them with pool noodles to try to knock them off balance. Several of the youth had to try multiple times before they were able to complete the task. This helped remind everyone that we will face obstacles in life that may knock us off course. The key is to never give and always look ahead to the end of the path where God is leading us.
Be Blessed and we’ll see you for Part 2 next week!