A Spirit Of Excellence
Thursday, February 2nd, 2017
“ Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; ……”Dan 6:3
In this verse we find that Daniel had an “excellent spirit”. There is more to this statement than meets the eye. Perhaps it will be better translated, “the spirit excelled in Daniel.” In other words, the spirit was more important to Daniel than the physical, the unseen than the seen and the intangible than the tangible.
The principle thing in Daniel was not the physical, though he was fair, ruddy and splendid. Spirit was the dominion factor in the personality of Daniel. Daniel was not a man who thought of himself within the physical as possessing a spirit, he thought of himself within the spiritual “as possessing” a body.
Let us examine the qualities manifested in the life of Daniel in whom the spirit excelled. Daniel was a man of purpose, prayer, perception and power.
Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the king’s meat. Dan 1:8 Notice carefully what this means. Purpose is at the beginning of everything. When Daniel found himself in a place of peril, he purposed in his heart. To Daniel it was of supreme importance to him. Many of us drift into evil courses for a lack of a definite and positive purpose in life. Purpose affords anchorage in the times of storm. It creates solid base in the time of crisis. Purpose lies at the back of will and operates through all activities. Daniel purposed in his heart that his spirit was the supreme thing. He would not permit freshly indulgence of any sort to rub the bloom from spiritual life and weaken the nerve of spiritual outlook. Daniel’s deepest purpose was loyalty to God which was expressed in separation from corrupting influences. Today, amid the allurements and enticement of a godless age, let us purpose in our hearts that we will be loyal to Jesus Christ.
Daniel was a man of prayer. Nothing stands out more clearly than this fact. When the interpretation of the king’s dream was asked, he called his friends together to pray and seek the counsel of God. Daniel’s life reveals the truth that he was a man who had regular habits of prayer, who three times in a day turned his face towards old Jerusalem, meditated on God and spoke to Him. Here we discover the secrets that underlies his fulfillment of purpose. Purpose is only powerful in execution when we are dependent on God. Our hearts must be rested firmly on God’s faithfulness in order to stand against undesirable forces. Prayer helps us to recognize our limitations, frailty and weakness. Like Daniel, we must learn the secrets of prayer through our dependence on God.
The outcome of Daniel’s purpose driven heart and habitual prayer is a spirit of perception. Daniel had clarity of vision that enabled him to accomplish the divine work allotted to him. We need spiritual perception to discern between right and wrong. A heart of purpose and prayer desires a growing keenness for insight, sensitiveness of soul and sharpness of perception in the common places. Perception produces clear vision on the crises of life when special illumination from God is flashed upon its pathway thus serving us in the moment of peril.
Daniel was a man of power. It is remarkable that Daniel held office in three kingdoms – in Babylon, in Media and Persia. The man of purpose, the man of prayer, the man of perception was recognized by the men of his age. Daniel was trusted and put into places of power because of his excelling spirit. The highest courage is not the courage in the battlefield, it is moral courage – the power to say NO. The thing that nerves a man to say NO in the presence of temptation is a fact that he has made his stand to honor God. A man of purpose is perpetually a man of prayer with perception that enables him to see the issues, understand the virtues and say NO when the moment comes. Our age wants men who are superior to it, not men who are driven by it.
Let is be said of us at NCCkl that the spirit excels in us as it did in Daniel. Let us major on the spirit.
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