Reading from the Book of Daniel 5:11-16
Daniel 5:11 There
is a man in your kingdom who has the spirit of the holy gods in him. In
the days of your father, this man showed that he could understand
secrets. He showed that he was very smart and very wise. He showed that
he was like the gods in these things. Your grandfather, King
Nebuchadnezzar, put this man in charge of all the wise men. He ruled
over all the men of magic and the Chaldeans. 12 The
man I am talking about is named Daniel. The king gave him the name
Belteshazzar. He is very smart and he knows many things. He could
interpret dreams, explain secrets, and find the answer to very hard
problems. Call for Daniel, he will tell you what the writing on the wall
they brought Daniel to the king and he asked, “Is your name Daniel, one
of the captives my father the king brought here from Judah? 14 I have heard that the spirit of the gods is in you and that you understand secrets and are very smart and very wise. 15 The
wise men and the men of magic were brought to me to read this writing
on the wall. I wanted them to explain to me what it means, but they
could not explain it. 16 I
have heard that you are able to explain what things mean, and that you
can find the answer to very hard problems. If you can read this writing
on the wall and explain to me what it means, this is what I will do for
you: I will give you purple robes to wear and will put a gold chain
around your neck. Then you will become the third highest ruler in the
"An excellent spirit" was found in Daniel. Daniel was a man of excellence, and because of that, the king promoted him to a position of great influence and authority. Daniel was also a man who refused to compromise. Even if his choices endangered his life, he would not compromise. He believed strongly in keeping his commitments, promises, and vows, and he was willing to endure personal discomfort to do so.
The Bible says we should swear to our own hurt and change not. In other words, we should do what we say we are going to do even if it is hard and brings negative consequences. Our God is an excellent God, and He has called us to be excellent too. To be excellent is a decision we must make, and it means we should always go the extra mile to do things the very best way they can be done. And we should strive to do what we believe God would do in a situation similar to the one we are in.
We must make up our minds and get into agreement with God that we, like Daniel, are going to be excellent, mot mediocre. We must take an inventory of our lives and prune off anything that entangles us or simply steals our time.
We must be determined, work hard, and refuse to quit or give up--drawing strength from God and not depending on ourselves. If we do these things persistently and with an excellent spirit, we will eventually be victorious and acquire "an excellent spirit."