AN EXCELLENT SPIRIT
by Olusegun Mokuolu
Men's Bible Study Leader
During the time of Daniel, the Kings he served and people around him noticed that there was something different about him. They attributed it to a spirit in him and called that spirit by various names.
But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods: and before him I told the dream, saying, O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in thee, and no secret troubleth thee, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and the interpretation thereof. (Daniel 4:8-9)
This dream I king Nebuchadnezzar have seen. Now thou, O Belteshazzar, declare the interpretation thereof, forasmuch as all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known unto me the interpretation: but thou art able; for the spirit of the holy gods is in thee. (Daniel 4:18)
There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of thy father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar thy father, the king, I say, thy father, made master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers; Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will shew the interpretation. (Daniel 5:11-12)
I have even heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in thee. (Daniel 5:14)
Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm. (Daniel 6:3)
Their observation was right but they could not correctly recognize who the spirit was. There was indeed a spirit behind the lifestyle and success of Daniel.
The spirit of God was clearly in Daniel or influenced Daniel’s actions. Now we know the spirit is the Holy Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit has been known and called by various names. For list of some of the names and attributes of the Holy Spirit.
In the book of Daniel, the Holy Spirit was revealed to us as EXCELLENT SPIRIT. The name also reveals an attribute of the Holy Spirit. It’s an attribute He wants to manifest through us. Therefore, we are not looking at excellence primarily from the point of doing things well but from the point that the Holy Spirit wants to manifest this attribute through us.
Some of the attributes of the Holy Spirit have been copied by the world. But it’s only a PHOTOCOPY. The original and real substance can ONLY be found in the Holy Spirit. The people in the days of Daniel recognized that he had an excellent spirit. They will recognize it in us if we also posses it.
The Biblical teaching on excellence is not the same as motivational talk. It’s the impartation of the Holy Spirit that allows us to perform excellently. A careful look at the construction of the Temple reveals that God is a detailed person. God has high standard and taste.
Let’s take a look at the some definitions.
• Superiority: the quality or state of being outstanding and superior.
• Outstanding features: a feature or respect in which somebody or something is superior and outstanding.
• A valuable quality; any thing highly laudable, meritorious or virtuous, in persons, or valuable and esteemed, in things. Purity of heart, uprightness of mind, sincerity, virtue, piety, are excellencies of character; symmetry of parts, strength and beauty are excellencies of body; an accurate knowledge of an art is an excellence in the artisan; soundness and durability are excellencies in timber; fertility, in land; elegance, in writing. In short, whatever contributes to exalt man, or to render him esteemed and happy, or to bless society, is in him an excellence.
• Distinguished for superior attainments; as an excellent artist.
• Extremely good; of a very high quality or standard
We have been called to live an excellent life for the Lord. As Christians, we cannot give in to mediocrity. Our works and character must be of high standards. Please look at the ten points listed hereafter and discuss the various dimensions of the operation of an excellent spirit. In the first point for example, we see the Holy Spirit coming upon a man to give him skill to perform exceptionally in carving and gold work. God can give us ability to perform our daily and routine task exceptionally well.
There is nothing ordinary about us before God. He can help us to clean the house and do our chore exceptionally well.
Look carefully at the points listed to discover the various ways in which we can experience the excellent spirit in our lives.
1. Exceptional Ability and skill to perform daily task (Exo28:3, 31:2-3)
2. Putting our best in anything we do (Eccl 9:10)
3. Maintaining the three dimensions of faithfulness (Luke 16:10-12)
4. Readiness to pay the cost for excellence (2Samuel 24:24)
5. Commitment to work (1Sam 18:5)
6. Seeking the best ways of doing things (2Sam 7:2)
7. Passion to put things right (Neh 1:1-4)
8. Looking out for others (Luke 10:33-35)
9. Going the extra mile (Proverbs 31:14)
10. Doing all things to the glory of God (1Cor 10:31)
Just as it was observed in the life of Daniel that he had an excellent Spirit, it is our prayer that people around us would look into our lives and be able to say: “an excellent spirit was in him”.