When we read about great godly men and women from the Bible, we often see them as special and with character qualities that only they could possess. Christians too easily discredit themselves from being able to have those qualities. Godly qualities do not have to be unique to great Bible characters. They can be formed by the Holy Spirit in you! We see that Daniel carried what God called, “an excellent spirit.” In Daniel 6:3 we read, “Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm.”
Daniel’s godly character qualities resulted in him being called by God, one with an “excellent spirit.” That is attainable by each one of us. As a matter of fact, it’s God’s desire for that to be the case. But it happens by putting God first place in your life and pursing those qualities asking the Lord to form them in you. Exactly how that happens will be different for each one of us because we all have a particular course we are walking out in the plan of God. There are two things that help shape an “excellent spirit” that are the same for all of us. One is learning God’s Word and the other is letting it shape the attitudes of our heart and mind through prayer. As we pray, the Holy Spirit can help us in the heart transformation that produces an “excellent spirit.”
Let’s make the connection between Daniel’s excellent spirit and God’s Word and prayer. Daniel 6:10 says,“But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God.” When you read the story of Daniel, you will see that God’s word set the boundaries and guided his heart in everything. You also see that he prayed before the Lord “just as he had always done.”
Prayer wasn’t a duty with Daniel. Prayer to him was more important than anything. He saw God as his help in everything he put his hand to. That is part of the reason why he had an “excellent spirit.” Daniel was promoted above everyone. He was not looking for that—it came to him because of his humility – knowing that God was his success at every step. He did not glory in himself as the success. He gloried in God being the source of his help. That’s the opposite of most people. Their success often inflates their ego and self-importance and God slips into the background. Most people that obtain success believe they are something special. Daniel was not like that. He loved God. He thanked God at every step for every good thing and never moved from his dependency from God. And I am not talking lip service. He was faithfully before the Lord three times a day. What a lesson to be learned!
Now let me bring it today down to this. As you read the story of Daniel, you will see that though he prayed this much, he did not live in a bubble. He faced tribulation for His love for God. Righteousness and success are always surrounded by jealousy. Evil, jealous men tried to continually make Daniel’s life miserable. I mean truly evil plots that would have unraveled 99% of most people. Daniel kept his heart before the Lord and in God’s hand. He never missed a beat. There were many attacks on his life despite his prayer life. God, however, kept lifting Daniel up, kept protecting him, and kept using him.
Prayer doesn’t eliminate every attack of the enemy, but an intimate and consistent prayer life with God whom you love and trust will keep you in His divine favor and bring you back to His place of blessing. Putting God first will shape an “excellent spirit” within you. It’s not a magic formula. It’s what comes when you stay before the Lord as He shapes your heart and goodness flows like a river from it. More tomorrow…
Daniel 1:9 “Now God had caused the chief of the eunuchs to show favor and tender love to Daniel.”
In His love,
Published by Pastor Tim BurtCopyright© 2010 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/