Being from a firefighter family, I know the types of things that are taught to school kids and community groups when a fire prevention presentation is made. One lesson most of us have heard about is the “Stop-Drop-and Roll” response. Firefighters teach this as the optimal reaction as what to do if a person’s clothes were to catch on fire. The maneuver is a safety precaution to reduce the risk of personal injury. Of course, the preventative measure is much preferred and involves not getting to close to a fire.
Over the course of a week, I’ve managed to exercise the stop-drop-roll technique in a spiritual realm. When we get too close to a fire, regardless of the source, we are going to get burned. The Book of Jude talks about helping others in need but being cautious of the dangers involved when doing so. Many of us are at varying levels in our spiritual firefighting. Some of us don’t feel the call to run in when others run out, but there are those of us willing to be on the front end of the nozzle fighting the most extreme heat.
At times, our close proximity allows us to put the fire out. Other times, we must walk away knowing that the fire of dysfunction is out of control and no salvage is possible. There are those times, like a fireman, we get close enough spiritually to make a difference. However, we come away from the experience physically and spiritually worn out.
When we get too close to a spiritual fire that is out of control, our efforts to intercede and intervene are met with harsh resistance from the source of the flames. If the Source is God, our lives are changed forever. We are refined by His Holy Fire. If the source of the fire is Satan, we find ourselves engulfed in another man’s sins.
That’s the time to make a spiritual decision to stop-drop-roll. Here’s how it works?
Stop – Take a time out; take a breath; walk away to regroup.
Drop – Fall to our knees asking God for both His comfort and His strength; seek clear vision that isn’t clouded by emotional reaction but is bathed in spiritual truth. Smoke hides truth.
Roll – Just roll on over and get right back up knowing that the fire of Satan cannot consume us when we call out the name of Jesus! Take opposition in stride. If we are right, God will vindicate us. If we are wrong, God will teach us. God’s love is the fire extinguisher either way.
“On some have compassion, using discernment. And others save with fear while pulling them out of the fire.” Jude 22-23