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STOP, DROP, AND ROLL
Intro: Stop, drop and roll is a simple fire safety technique taught to children, emergency services personnel and industrial workers as a component of health and safety training.
Primarily, it is a method to extinguish a fire on a person’s clothes or hair without, or in addition to, the use of conventional firefighting equipment.
In addition to extinguishing the fire, stop, drop and roll is an effective psychological tool, providing those in a fire situation, particularly children, with a routine that can be focused on in order to avoid panic.
Stop, drop and roll consists of three components.
Most folk would agree that this is a technique that everyone should know if you ever find yourself in a blazing situation. I want you to know that this technique will also work when we find ourselves engulfed by the fires of life. I want to preach to you for a few minutes on the subject: Stop, Drop And Roll. I want to show you the steps Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego took to conquer their fire. The same steps will work for us.
I. V. 1-12 STOP: CONSIDER THE FIRE
A. V. 12a Fire Touches The Saved Ones - Nowhere does the Bible guarantee the saint of God freedom from the fires and storms of life. On the contrary, the Bible is filled with references to the fact that storms will come and that they will be part and parcel of the life of every believer.
B. V. 12b Fire Touches The Serving Ones - Some people feel that being a servant of God should guarantee them freedom from troubles. Once, I heard a man say the following words when he was enduring a time of immense stress and difficulty, “Why is this happening to me? I have tried to do everything the Lord wants me to do!” What he failed to understand is that the Lord does not promise His servants freedom from trouble. It can, and will touch all of us!
Just ask the Apostle Paul. He labored for the Lord while fighting a thorn in the flesh. A thorn, by the way, that God refused to remove, 2 Cor. 12:7-10! That wasn’t all that happened to Paul, 2 Cor. 11:22-32.
Serving God does not eliminate the possibility of suffering. Actually, it practically guarantees it.
C. V. 12c Fire Touches The Separated Ones - There are some who feel that a clean life is a hedge against trouble. It is almost as if some saints use holiness and separation like some kind of a voodoo charm to please the Lord. If I can be good enough, then nothing bad will happen! If something bad does happen, then it must be that there is a sin in my life. Most Baptists I know would make good Hindus because most of us seem to believe in the power of karma. This isn’t necessarily true!
Consider Job. He suffered like few other men ever has, yet God’s own testimony about his life was that he was a man of God, Job 1:1, 5, 8. A clean life does not mean a protected life. Sometimes, God will take the holiest, the cleanest and the best He has and put them in the fire. Not so that He can watch them squirm, suffer and burn, but so that He can use them for His glory to prove that He is still God!
The more we know about the fire, the better off we are! When we realize that God doesn’t send us there to destroy us, but to develop us, it can change your entire outlook where the fire in concerned. When you stop to also consider the fact that God will sometimes take the very cream of the crop, the best of the best, and send them into the fire, it can change our whole perspective concerning the fire.
I. Stop: Consider The Fire
II. V. 13-18 DROP: COMMIT THE FIRE
These men committed the fire to the Lord. When they faced the fire, they knew they were insufficient within their own power. They committed the fire to the power of the Lord and trusted Him to take them through. When we face our own fires, we too, should commit them to the Lord. There are some very basic help to be found in how these men committed themselves to the fire, and to the Lord. What they did helped them to commit the fire to the Lord and to trust Him to do right by them. Let’s learn from their example.
A. V. 17a Remember Your Connection To God - Take special notice of the words “our God.” Notice how Nebuchadnezzar spoke of God in verse 15. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego knew that they were in a special relationship with the sovereign God of the universe. These men were the sons of God by faith and that is a good relationship to be in when the fire comes near your life.
The same is true for us. We need to remember that we are not spiritual bums wandering through this world. We are the children of God, 1 John 3:1-3! Our God is the Creator! God is our Father, and it is his “good pleasure” to give us the kingdom. Luke 12:32. Our Father is all-powerful. Our Father owns it all and is perfectly capable of aiding us in our time of crisis! If you are His child, you need never fear Him bailing out on you! He has promised to be there every step of the way - Heb. 13:5.
B. V. 17b Remember The Control Of God - Two words used by Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego make all the difference. Those words are “is able.” These are the words of faith!
These men were not stupid! They knew the fire was hot. They knew the fire was able to destroy them. They knew that there was no escape, at least from a human standpoint. As they faced the fire, they knew what it could do to them. Yet, as they faced the fire, they were also able to “faith” the fire! They knew that even if they were thrown into the fire, their Heavenly Father had the necessary power to bring them through.
God hasn’t changed! He is still “able” to do anything that needs to be done in your life or mine! He is still God and He is still able, Eph. 3:20! Even if you go into the fire, God is still in control. He has His hand on the thermostat, His eye on the thermometer, and He is in control of the situation. In fact, when the fire does come in your life, it had to pass through the filter of God’s perfect plan for you before it ever came your way. Remember, when the fire is raging in your life, Romans 8:28 still says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
C. V. 18 Remember Your Commitment To God - Back in Daniel 1:8-21, when these men were younger and new to Babylon, they took a stand for God and committed themselves to living for Him and for Him alone. This is a commitment that they took seriously. Here they are faced with their own deaths and still they are determined to serve the Lord. They stood in the day of testing!
When the fire comes to your life and mine, it will often be accompanied by the temptation to quit on God, to just give up. However, God has promised us help for our times of testing and trials. When you are tempted to quit, remember three truths if you will.
The fires of life prove the reality of our testimony. It is easy to make vows to God when you get saved and it looks like everything will be smooth sailing. When the tough times come, and they will, that is when you get to honor the commitments you have made to the Lord. By the way, He expects you to keep your promises to Him!
When life heats up, we must remember that we are His, and that He has committed Himself to our care. So, when the fire comes, and it will, stop and consider it in light of Who God is. Drop before the Lord and commit the fire to the Lord. Trust Him to give you what you need in the hour of your need.
I. Stop: Consider The Fire
II. Drop: Commit The Fire
III. V. 19-30 ROLL: CONQUER THE FIRE
These men stopped and considered the fire. They dropped the fire into the hand of God, and committed to Him. Then they literally rolled right into the fire. When they did, they encountered just what they needed, not to extinguish the flames, but to get them through the fire.
A. V. 24 Conquer It Through God’s Presence - Remember that when you face the fires of life, you will never face them alone! The Lord showed up right in the middle of their fire. He did the same thing for the disciples when they were in the storm, Matt. 14. He showed up in Daniel’s lion den, Dan. 6. He will be there with you too!
Here is His promise:
B. V. 26 Conquer It Through God’s Preservation - Remember that God did not save you to lose you to a fiery trial. He will meet you in the blaze and He will strengthen you in the day of trial. He saved you to take you through the fires and on home to glory.
C. V. 27 Conquer It Through God’s Power - Again, we are reminded that the God we serve is all-powerful and is able to take care of His children. It doesn’t matter what you may be facing today, God is bigger then it is!
Notice the comprehensive nature of God’s protection. They escaped the fire with no apparent physical damage at all. You will probably not come out of your fires without some scars to show for having been there. But, even those scars will remind you of the faithfulness of God in your life.
D. V. 29 Conquer It Through God’s Program - Notice that God had a higher agenda in allowing these men to go through the fire! He did it to being glory to Himself and to speak to the hearts of a few heathen! God brought His child through to prove that He is God and that He is able to take care of His own.
By the way, He is still doing the very same thing! He will let one of His children go through the fire, and He will sustain them, and even bring them out, in such a way that He gets all the glory and that men learn about Him. He may be using the fire in your life to spread His message. He may be using your life as a canvas upon which He is painting what true Christianity is all about. You never know who is watching, and you never know why the Lord sends what He does. May the Lord help us to handle the fires of life in a way that honors Him!
Ill. Thomas Edison invented the microphone, the phonograph, the incandescent light, the storage battery, talking movies, and more than 1000 other things. December 1914 he had worked for 10 years on a storage battery. This had greatly strained his finances. This particular evening spontaneous combustion had broken out in the film room. Within minutes all the packing compounds, celluloid for records and film, and other flammable goods were in flames. Fire companies from eight surrounding towns arrived, but the heat was so intense and the water pressure so low that the attempt to douse the flames was futile. Everything was destroyed. Edison was 67. With all his assets going up in a whoosh (although the damage exceeded two million dollars, the buildings were only insured for $238,000 because they were made of concrete and thought to be fireproof), would his spirit be broken?
The inventor’s 24-year old son, Charles, searched frantically for his father. He finally found him, calmly watching the fire, his face glowing in the reflection, his white hair blowing in the wind.
“My heart ached for him,” said Charles. “He was 67--no longer a young man--and everything was going up in flames. When he saw me, he shouted, ‘Charles, where’s your mother?’ When I told him I didn’t know, he said, ‘Find her. Bring her here. She will never see anything like this as long as she lives.’”
The next morning, Edison looked at the ruins and said, “There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God we can start anew.” Three weeks after the fire, Edison managed to deliver the first phonograph.
Who knows what the Lord may be trying to burn out of your life. Yield to Him, and in His time, He will allow His glory to be seen in your situation.
E. V. 30 Conquer It Through God’s Promotion - One of God’s primary reasons in sending us through the fire is to purify us, to develop us, and to promote us. The truth of the matter is that you probably won’t be much use to the Lord until you go through some fires in your life. The fire has the remarkable ability to burn off impurities and to cleanse the object committed to its power. When God melts you, He is about to mold you into a vessel He can use for His glory!
Conc: “Stop, drop and roll.” That is good advice if you ever find yourself engulfed in a literal fire. It is advice that could save your life.
“Stop, drop and roll” is also good advice when you are walking through the fiery seasons of life. Learning to handle the fires of life the Lord’s way can make all the difference between coming through the fire in victory, or being consumed by it. Things might be going well for you today, if so praise the Lord, because it won’t be long until you smell smoke. It will be your turn to face the fire. When that day comes, and it will, handle it God’s way.
Here is some good biblical advise when the fire kindles in your life:
Do you need to handle a blaze today? The best thing you can do is Stop, Drop and Roll!