(Part 2 of 2)
Daniel, in his time of captivity, did not sit around feeling sorry for his lot in life. Daniel made a commitment. A commitment is a vow, a promise that you make to yourself, such as “I do not want to run aimlessly” or “I want my life to mean something.” In captivity, he was determined that he was not going to defile himself with the king’s meat. Today, we could put it this way, “I want God and not drugs or alcohol.” Daniel chose the route of righteousness and holiness. He wanted God to control his future. A lot of young people think it’s cool to let an evil thing control their future. Solomon also said, “As dead flies cause even a bottle of perfume to stink, so a little foolishness spoils great wisdom and honor” (Ecclesiastes 10:1, NLT). He also knew that compromise weakens your ability to stand against the world, the flesh, and the devil. Whenever a person takes a stand for righteousness, God will back them up. The first step to an excellent spirit is loving righteousness and hating evil things.
An excellent spirit is seen by the way you choose your friends. Daniel chose the three Hebrews who went into captivity with him (chapter 1:6, 17-20, 2:17-18). These four prayed together, fellowshipped together, and supported one another. If you want to develop an excellent spirit, choose friends that will be supportive of you. Being around people of excellence adds to your excellence. Together these four young men made a decision not to bow before the heathen systems of that time. When trials came, they did not panic, they did not become bitter, and they did not accuse anyone else. They stood up for the word of the Lord. They would rather have been martyred than sin against God. Choose your friends wisely.
An excellent spirit leads to greatness. Daniel was not a great man because God singled him out. He became great because his lifestyle drew the attention of God. God saw the purpose of Daniel’s heart was to do God’s will. Great people live every day in conversation with God. An excellent spirit follows God. If you want to become a man or woman of excellence. align yourself with God. Daniel became a problem solver, people saw it, and they sought him out. The secret of your future success lies hidden in your daily routine. Daniel established good contacts. People who run the giant corporations of today have a “people list”; i.e., they remember the people they meet during their daily routine. They established good relationships with them. Daniel was not snobbish or aloof.
An excellent spirit leads to promotion and to good jobs. Daniel 6:1-5 teaches that Daniel was preferred above all others because of his excellent spirit. Yes, he did have abilities, but it was his attitude, character, and the ability to get along with people which brought him promotion. Employers look for good attitudes. God chooses people on the basis of faithfulness. Daniel’s foes were jealous and they started to accuse, but Daniel kept his eyes steadfast upon God. If people begin to oppose you, let it be because of your faithfulness to God. Daniel never retaliated.
An excellent spirit brings you face to face with the lion’s den (spiritual warfare). You must know this. The moment the hand of God is upon you there will be those who oppose you. Daniel knew this and kept his window open and prayed three times daily and gave thanks. Daniel didn’t panic or make changes when the devil’s opposition came; he just kept up his conversation with God. Daniel reasoned that if he was going to die, he would do so with an excellent spirit. The lion’s den became a place for a miracle (Daniel 6:16-23). God has miracles for people who have an excellent spirit.
It is God’s will for believers to be of the finest quality and have a spirit of excellence. If you are having problems with attitude today, Jesus wants to change you. 1 Timothy 3:13 says, “Those who have served well gain an excellent standing” (NIV). An excellent spirit produces competence. People who are highly competent are committed to excellence. They very seldom settle for average. They pay attention to detail, and they perform with consistency. They give their best at all times. They, like Daniel, focused on the future. Daniel knew that one day the captives would be set free and that they would return to their own land. It’s hard to move towards the future if you continually drag the past behind you.
Pastor George Belobaba
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