November 25, 2018

Trembling: “I Fell on my Face”

Our society has become decidedly less formal. There are fewer occasions to dress up. Children are rarely taught to address adults as “Mr.” or “Mrs.” or “Miss” or “Ms.” Weddings and funerals and even the way we communicate with each other have become far more casual. We have broken down the barriers associated with formality and embraced familiarity instead.

This cultural trend has been adopted by many churches like ours. For example, I almost never tuck my shirt in and often wear running shoes to preach. And while some do call me “Pastor,” I never require it, let alone calling me “Reverend”! We have, rightly, embraced the culture on this point.

But having said that, I wonder if we haven’t lost something else along the way in doing so. In our noble pursuit of familiarity with God (he is, after all, immanent, available, near, and the “friend of sinners”), are we unwittingly avoiding any sense of the power, awesomeness, and transcendence (he is other) of our God? I wonder how we could get some of that back.

In Daniel 10-12, a final vision is received by Daniel, who by this time is well into his 80s. He has spent a lifetime walking with his God and standing firm in his faith in the midst of a hostile environment. The vision was overwhelming to him, and an encounter with the pre-incarnate Christ laid him out, trembling in fear, at the appearance of the God he had worshipped and served his entire life. As students of the Bible, we realize that the apostles John and Paul and the prophets Moses, Isaiah, and Ezekiel all had similar reactions when they came face-to-face with God. The point is clear: We cannot be casual or familiar with our God. The only proper response is to tremble as Daniel did.

Sermon Notes

Resolved! Living for Christ when you’re the only one who is
Trembling: “I Fell on my Face”
Pastor Todd Dugard // Daniel 10
November 25, 2018

Tremble, Christian, because...

...you hold in your hands the Word of God (v. 1)

...you stand right now in the presence of God (v. 2–9)

...you engage each day as a soldier in the army of God (v. 10–14, 20–21)

...you depend for your life on the power of God (v. 15–19)