The Mark of Excellence

Photo by Diego PH

Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps because an excellent spirit was in him. Daniel 6:3

A little back story… Daniel is a captive in Babylon, he and other people from Judah had been carried off by King Nebuchadnezzar when he invaded Jerusalem. The king’s officials carried some people to Babylon. These were of the royal family and of the nobility. Young without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in wisdom and knowledge, and able to serve in the king’s palace. Daniel 1:3-4 Among these was Daniel. He has been in Babylon for a long time now. He is serving the third king after Nebuchadnezzar in this Chapter. Darius is reigning in Babylon, and Daniel is one of his officials.

God has so elevated him. He was among those whom the king had set over the kingdom. We are told that Daniel was distinguished among all the other officials because he had an excellent Spirit.

What is an excellent Spirit?

Excellence can be defined as possessing outstanding quality or superior merit [Dictionary.com]. When we say that someone is excellent, it means they stand out from the crowd. There is something that gives them an edge over everyone and people can’t help but notice.

It’s God’s Spirit in us.

Whenever the Holy Spirit comes upon a person, there is an excellence that comes on them. He is the spirit of understanding and wisdom. He gives insight and counsel. He is the one giving Daniel the ability to be excellent in what he does. The presence of the Holy Spirit enables us to do what we cannot do on our own as well as do what God wants us to do extraordinarily well.

Because an excellent spirit, knowledge, and understanding to interpret dreams, explain riddles, and solve problems were found in this Daniel. Daniel 5:12 The spirit of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom in all things makes Daniel stand out from the crowd.

Another person in the Old Testament who has such a spirit is Bezalel. See I have called by name Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And I have filled with him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability, and knowledge in all kinds of craftsmanship. Exodus 31:2-3

When God fills a man with His Spirit, He fills him with skill, ability, and the knowledge to do what He has called him to do. Bezalel was chosen to make all the things needed for the tabernacle. God made sure he was well equipped.

Whatever God has called you to do; He will fill you with His Spirit and enable you to do it excellently. Do you want to do business in an extraordinary way? Do you want to stand out in your job? Do you want to write, sing or create art in a way that makes the world take notice? Do you want to be able to build great relationships and a life that tells the world about your God? Daniel didn’t just stand out in one thing, he stood out in everything. When the Spirit of God is in us we are able to do things extraordinarily well. Don’t try to copy what others are doing, ask the Holy Spirit to give you what nobody else has.

It’s an ability to be faithful.

A few words that can be used to define faithfulness are steadfast, unwavering, or devoted; it can be to someone or to a purpose.

We cannot be excellent in anything unless we are faithful at it. Sometimes, excellence is something God gives to us, as we continue to be faithful in the things He has put in front of us.

Daniel was faithful in his Job and this made him excellent. Because he was so good at what he did, the king wanted to set him over the whole kingdom. This ruffled some feathers. Then the high officials and the satraps sought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel with regard to the kingdom, but they could find no ground for complaint or any fault because he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him. Daniel 6:3-4

They wanted to disqualify him before the king but couldn’t find any grounds to accuse him. God will protect us from people’s malice if we will do things faithfully.

Faithfulness looks like you getting to work on time or a bit earlier than is expected. It looks like you getting up and doing what you know you should do and doing it wholeheartedly. Faithfulness can look like you doing the “same old, same old” with a good attitude. Faithfulness can be you doing what you are supposed to do well that people don’t have to redo your work or even supervise it.

Because he was faithful, God could entrust him with His excellence. Can God trust you with His excellence? Will we be faithful even when it feels like it doesn’t matter because it matters to God?

It’s a revelation of our God.

God puts His Spirit of excellence on us for a reason. It’s not so the world can know how awesome we are. It’s not so we can get the glory, but so we can reveal Him to the world around us.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 peter 2:9

Does your life reveal the excellencies of God? Can people look at you and see your God?

There are things God will specifically put in us because He wants to reveal Himself to those around us. Daniel’s excellence was directly attached to His God. Everyone knew that the God of Daniel was unlike other gods. They were not confused about who was with him and working in his life. Even though he was surrounded by pagans and idol worshippers, they acknowledged his God every time He was revealed through Daniel.

We will not reveal God to the world by just doing the bare minimum. We will not reveal Him if we are unfaithful in our jobs, or with our lives. We will not reveal Him with mediocrity. We will only reveal Him when we decide that we want to carry an excellent spirit and do things extraordinarily well.

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