Ever feel mediocre or a bit unsure of your performance?
Do you have integrity, are you Consistent, Reliable and Trustworthiness?
Are you unmotivated? What is your motivation?
Daniel 5:12New Living Translation (NLT)12 This man Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar, has exceptional ability and is filled with divine knowledge and understanding. He can interpret dreams, explain riddles, and solve difficult problems. Call for Daniel, and he will tell you what the writing means.”
I came across this phrase
“The spirit of excellence“
and as I’m currently reading through the book of Daniel it started to weigh upon me. What is this spirit of excellence and should I pursue it?
Looking at it introspectively, I have never thought of myself as particularly “excellent” a lot of the time I simply assessed that I was “just getting by”. If you’re like me you have to renew your mind consistently from the thoughts of unworthiness or doubting your capability. Even your capability to attain knowledge or be excellent in any regard comes into question. This is not humility though admittedly it can masquerade as that if you’re not careful; honestly guys this is a hurdle! It may even be a sin. I’ve had to ask God for forgiveness in this attitude several times and ask him to help me be courageous and to be competent: to be his version of “ME”. Trust me I’m an engineer!
There is a right way to view yourself; having identity and purpose in Christ and there is also a wrong way. There is a pursuit that pleases God and there’s one that misses the point. Circumspectively I carry on unwilling to neglect something life changing in this phrase.
The passage defines “spirit of excellence” as characterised by the possession of these attributes:
- exceptional ability
- Filled with divine knowledge and understanding.
- interpretation of dreams,
- explanation of riddles,
- solve difficult problems.
Enigma: isn’t that a cool word? Something or someone mysterious or difficult to understand, as I sit here I think “hmm my work as an engineer and even Christian life, hey just my life, in general, is one big enigma sometimes“. As I meditate on this topic I want to know how I can be excellent in every aspect of my life, I consider Daniel and wonder if he thought of himself at all? His time was not spent in considering his pursuit of excellence or his development but firstly in not defiling himself with the things of King Nebuchadnezzar. It is from this place that I must begin. King Nebuchadnezzar renamed Daniel. Daniel meant God is my judge. It’s interesting that the King renames Daniel: Belteshazzar: Bel protects the king. Have I sought things of this world to protect me instead of God? Have I trusted in my intellect as protection or as a driver for my reputation? David is called Belteshazzar, in accordance with the name of the Babylonian god Bel, the king believed that the spirit of the holy gods was within him. He was correct in believing Daniel had the spirit of God in him but it was Jehovah, not all his gods Maruk, Bel, and Nebo, which he believed were the greatest, supreme gods of the World.
The purpose was evidently to affect Daniel’s naturalization and alienate him from the worship of Jehovah. It was to steal his identity. What did Daniel do? As his name says he understood that only God (YHWH) was his Judge. He would serve YHWH only and no other God. He knew that he would be accountable to God for his actions. The first step in having an excellent spirit is setting the LORD always before you, acknowledging who He is in your life and who you are in Him. Forsaking all others (gods) even in the face of great opposition or the chance of nonconformity being exposed. We live in an age not too dissimilar from Daniel’s day. There are societal systems in place in the world which are trying to take our focus.
There is a wide selection of demi-gods rising up for us to worship apart from the one true God. Many of these so called gods could be things we never thought of as such. Think about it! How many people worship success or prosperity, serve money, or the material, or find purpose in seeking societal status, how many people follow mysticism and new age philosophies, the list goes on?
I acknowledge Jesus as my Lord and Saviour and I serve Jehovah alone. As they declared in Deut 6:4-9 I shall declare continually in my life 4 “Hear, O Israel (Insert your name): The Lord our God, the Lord is one![a]
The Hope of the Faithful, and the Messiah’s Victory
A Michtam of David.
16 Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust.
2 O my soul, you have said to the Lord,
“You are my Lord,
My goodness is nothing apart from You.”
3 As for the saints who are on the earth,
“They are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.”
Resources: Giphy.com, biblegateway.com, canva.com