The photo above was taken by my son, Michael, as he patrolled the area of the Wall Fire in Butte County this past week and had to evacuate people from their homes. Three of my fellow firefighters with the Bella Vista Volunteer Company went down last Friday night to protect homes in the path of the fire. It was going to be a long night for all of them.
When it comes to wild land fires like this, there are a number of things that firefighters must know and keep in mind as they engage this "enemy." We have what we call the "Ten Standard Firefighting Orders," the "Eighteen Watchout Situations," and "LCES" (Lookouts, Communications, Escape Routes, and Safety Zones). These are to be "hidden in our hearts" so to speak, so that we will not find ourselves in a predicament that will compromise our safety. Almost to a fault, if you keep all of these items in mind and follow them on the fire line, you will be just fine!
And that's how it is with us in our walk on this earth. There is an enemy swirling around us. As a matter of fact, the Bible says it this way: "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8) We need to pay attention to our watchouts and standard orders to keep from being entrapped by our enemy's schemes. We have a lookout - the HOLY SPIRIT - who screams at us of our enemy's whereabouts, and shows us our escape routes (See 1 Cor. 10:13).
So, where do we find our ten's, eighteen's, and LCES for our walk with God on this earth? Psalm 119:9,11 tell us that it is through God's word. This is how we can keep our way pure. This is the vessel through which the Holy Spirit wants to work in our hearts and minds! We must read it, study it, embrace it, memorize it, and refer to it just like firefighters need to do as they engage their enemy!
We know who our lookout is! How is your communication (prayer)? Are you aware of your escape routes and safety zones? Want to know one of the standard orders for the Christian as we live on this earth? Try Galatians 5:16, which says: "So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh!" Yes, Lord teach us all the more how to walk in and by YOUR Spirit as we journey through life on this earth! Amen!