It does not show on the face.
An excellent spirt is an inner quality. It is not first an issue of appearance, dressing or presentation. It does not quickly make you a star attraction. Neither does it quickly put food on your table, pile clothes in your wardrobe or dump money in your pocket. It does neither earn you quick recognition nor win you quick approval.
An excellent spirit, like “righteousness” that produces it, does not always pay quick, but it surely does eventually pay! And when it does finally pay, it more than makes up for its seeming sluggishness!
Permit me to introduce you to and advertise to you, the nature and manner of life that translates into being a man or woman of an excellent spirit.
It takes time to develop.
For one, an excellent spirit takes time to build up and grow. It takes effort, real painstaking determined effort, to build an excellent spirit especially when nothing around, encourages you on. All around you, men cut corners, take shortcuts and seemingly achieve quick success. Several colleagues exerting far less effort, return home quick and immediately jubilant; making the diligent and conscientious hardworking labourer, seeking to pass through the excellence boulevard, seem a mere overzealous time waster.
That is why most men, including God’s Children, find it difficult to wait and build the excellent spirit in their life and relationships, to its full-blown maturity!
The excellent spirit is grown in obscurity!
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; Daniel 5: 11
A Daniel was in the kingdom and yet, the king did not know it. Such a man of quality and integrity was in the king’s service unknown, unrecognized, uncelebrated. Despite his divinely endowed gifts, despite his sacrifice and diligent service to the generation of rulers, yet he was unrecognised and unrewarded. No one remembered to invite him to the party of the “thousand lords”. His name didn’t make the “who is who list” of the “top thousand dignitaries”.
1 Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords and drank wine before the thousand.
Daniel 5: 1
Yes, when everything is going on as normal and everyone seems to be able to handle their problems by their crooked means, no one remembers a Daniel. That is how the chief butler forgot Joseph in the prison for two full years until Pharaoh had a dream that no one else could interpret.
When the system is working, goaded on by not-so-excellent men, the stage is NOT yet set for the man of an excellent spirit. But when nothing works again and no one around can make it work, when ordinary men using ordinary methods fail in an extraordinary way, only then do men seek and bring to the centre-stage, the man in whom an excellent spirit is found.
The excellent spirit is a spirit of the Holy God!
There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; . . . . Daniel 5: 11
The excellent spirit is a spirit of the Holy God! It is a stream flowing from holiness of life and righteousness of ways. The excellent spirit comes from “right living” and “right doing”. It is built by a habitual life of doing things well. It is a life of doing things, big or little, strategic or inconsequential, publicly or in privacy in the way it should be done.
The man of an excellent spirit does not just settle for the acceptable or the pardonable; he aims for correctness, for fairness to all even if at greater personal cost. He seeks to do things in the best possible justifiable way. It is the spirit of holiness! And when you possess it, the advantages are numerous . . . .
In the excellent spirit is found light and illumination!
15 And now the wise men, the astrologers, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing, and make known unto me the interpretation thereof: but they could not shew the interpretation of the thing:
16 And I have heard of thee, that thou canst make interpretations, and dissolve doubts: . . . . Daniel 5: 15-16.
In the excellent spirit is found light and illumination! In it is found direction and guidance; in it is found the dissolving of doubts and clearing of confusion. When a man of an excellent spirit arrives on the scene, he brings in a dimension beyond all normal suggestions; a dimension not accessible to men who rose the ranks by cutting corners, jumping queues and cutting long procedures short. In the excellent spirit are insight, foresight and hindsight. In it is the ability to see through the darkness that veils the solution.
A fount of practical understanding; a well of divine wisdom!
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; . . . . Daniel 5: 11
In the man of an excellent spirit are a fount and a well. From him issues springs of practical understanding and in him is a well, deep with wisdom. The excellence of spirit stems from both a practical understanding of the situation at hand and from a divine inspiration available only from heaven.
He is equipped for a practical insight by having been previously hard at work at his chosen work. He has learnt the ropes by due diligence. He is conversant with the issues by painstaking experience. He has caught the hang of things by years of silently interacting with his work.
And where that stops, begins the flow of divine wisdom. From deep wells inside . . . the wells of salvation, the wells of communion, the wells of intimate relationship with the Holy. A man of an excellent spirit is a man that has the spirit of Grace and Truth speaking forth from deep within him. When he speaks, he speaks not of his own but of the Spirit of God. He can see what men cannot see. He can hear what ears cannot hear. He brings divine solutions from realms beyond the human brain to bear on physical situations that have defied earthly remedies.
The excellent spirit lives on!
There is a man in thy kingdom . . . and in the days of thy father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods was found in him; whom . . . . thy father, the king, I say, thy father, made master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers; Daniel 5: 11
Beyond all the above, the excellent spirit transcends kingdoms and outlives rulers. Daniel shone across the regimes like a colossus!…. relevant to the regime of the father (Nebuchadnezzar), sought after in the days of his recalcitrant son (Belshazzar) and yet promoted over all the presidents in the third regime of Darius the king. The excellent spirit is perpetual and eternal. It is as relevant today as it was in the days of the fathers. So also whoever carries it cannot be outdated or left behind. A man of an excellent spirit is perpetually relevant. He speaks among the fathers, with overpowering wisdom, and yet speaks among their sons with a forceful warning.
You may ignore the man in whom is found an excellent spirit but only for a while! Sooner than later, you will seek for him. You may constrain him to temporary silence as if he is out-dated and inappropriate to today’s problem but soon, you will be seeking to be blessed by the “Ancient of Days” whom he now carries on his inside.
And The Excellent Spirit Eventually Shines!
1 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom;
2 And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage.
3 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: 1-3
Right now, men seem to prefer the quick way! Right now, everyone is talking about the shortest cut. Right now, the way of the excellent spirit seems superfluous, unnecessarily tedious and communally undesirable. But not for long; no, not forever!
There is coming a time . . . in its own lifetime, when the excellent spirit will be the preferred choice because it is the only one with all the answers. If a man continues to grow in the pursuit of an excellent spirit, even if it takes decades and years on end, he will also continue to grow in quiet prominence until suddenly comes the day of shining, the day of glory!
One day, the correct way will become the preferred way!
One day, the righteous way will be the preferred way. That day, the man with an excellent spirit will become the preferred man. That day, the powers that be and those in authority will have no other choice but to bring in the man they had ignored, relegated and deprived. And yet, because his is an excellent spirit, he does not think to revenge, no, he does not retaliate, he does not refuse to help out. He cannot deny himself. He is of an excellent spirit. And an excellent spirit is a forgiving spirit. An excellent spirit is a large heart. An excellent spirit is a roomy and resourceful heart. He simply performs in excellence and in doing so, he shines!
When he shines, he makes others shine also. When he takes centre-stage, he brings in others to shine along. His is a team spirit, a spirit of unity, a spirit of oneness. When He shines, he shines for the benefit of all. He seeks the common good . . . . to the end that the kingdom might have no damage!
Will you be a man of an excellent spirit?
Will you be a man of an excellent spirit? Will you be one of God’s hidden jokers in the game of life? To be brought in when the chips are down and the situation needs divine intervention? I guess you would desire to be. But what I can’t determine for sure is whether you can pay the price it requires. I am not sure if you will come to terms with the terms to become a man in whom an excellent spirit is found!
There is a way to grow an excellent spirit. There is clear, defined and distinguishable way to excelling in life. There is a divine route, with unshifting landmarks that takes a man to the place of divine honour and makes him shine above his fellows. The question is, will you thread that path?
8 But as to the Son, He says to Him, Your throne, O God, is forever and ever (to the ages of the ages), and the scepter of Your kingdom is a scepter of absolute righteousness (of justice and straightforwardness).
9 You have loved righteousness [You have delighted in integrity, virtue, and uprightness in purpose, thought, and action] and You have hated lawlessness (injustice and iniquity). Therefore God, [even] Your God ( Godhead), has anointed You with the oil of exultant joy and gladness above and beyond Your companions. Heb 1: 8-9.
Will you thread the paths of holiness and righteousness henceforth? Will you live a life that is biblical and scriptural no matter what all else around are doing? Will you seek to know and bow to obey the commandments of life contained in the word of God? Will you delight in integrity and straightforwardness and uprightness of heart?
Will you pursue a virtuous and just life in thought, word and action? Will you on the other hand, hate sin and lawlessness and injustice? Will you shun the ways of error and despise those who walk thereby? Will you refrain from evil yourself and refuse to acclaim or promote those who circumvent God’s demands?
Would you seek God and his righteousness over and above the spirit of money that has taken the day in our day? Will you shun the mad rush for money and material things that has occupied the heart of many a Christian . . . because it has become the preoccupation of many a pulpit? Will you stand out and stick your neck for that which is right even if no one else cares to come along? Will you stand, when men are falling especially if those men are supposed to know better?
These are the myriad of determinant questions!
If you conclude my questions with “I cannot” or worse still “I will not”; then, I am sorry I will not be sorry to see you end cheaply, abruptly and ignobly; when the den of lions you have set for others finish up your no-so-worthy existence.
But If your heart truly answers all these questions in the affirmative, then I can relax because I will surely meet you at the top! I will one day hear of you. I will one day bump into you in your sphere of labour, shining for God and extending His kingdom!
See you there! And May God grant you the grace. Amen!