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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. Dan 6:3-4 NKJV
The gold – A spirit of excellence is shown in people who can always find their way through life and lead others to do the same. They are the people who believe that there is an answer and our job is to find it… and they do. These excellent spirits inspire us and motivate us to the same level of Kingdom optimism that rests on a simple foundation… God has answers. Our job is to find them, create them and implement them. They can hear the voice of heaven, articulate it prophetically in words, and make it happen on earth in practice.
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings. Prov 25:2
The dirt – There is a another spirit that is pointing out problems, alerting us to our weaknesses, warning us of a dire future. There is a place for discernment and defining problems, but there is also another voice that is a source of continual accusations. It doesn’t have solutions, optimism or faith, and the net effect is defiling. What is discouraging about this voice is not the problem or the challenge or the circumstance. It’s the attitude verbalized by the owner of the dire tidings. At some level, it is simply a condescending package of the accusations of the enemy that says, “You’re not going to make it.” It’s wrapped in a prophetic sound, but its effect is to discourage, condemn and take away hope. Surprisingly, it often comes from Christians.
Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. 11 What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’ but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him ‘unclean.’” Matt 15:10-11 NIV
Cultivating the gold – We can always hear the two voices: 1) Jesus’ testimony and intercession on our behalf, and 2) the accusations of the enemy giving the logic for why we cannot inherit our land. We naturally end up believing one or the other.
Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Rev 19:10 NIV
We hear and choose the testimony of Jesus and carry it prophetically toward an excellent spirit of optimism, believing that answers can be found. There is still a place to silence the accusations in prayer and break any hold they may have over our lives. Darkness flees from light. In private prayer or public practice, we are simply holding up the purposes of God over every obstacle and lie that the enemy has to set before us. Our most basic belief is that those purposes will prevail, and it’s our privilege and responsibility in the Kingdom to make sure that they do. Understanding this simple truth is a foundation for excellence.
He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? 6 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” 7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:5-8 NASU
…a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. Prov 17:27 KJV
Excellence sounds like this:
- Excellence is alive and it speaks life. Our words are prophetic and they can create life or death. They really do reflect what’s in our heart. Words don’t just reflect the orthodoxy of truth. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. Truth is one third of the experience of knowing Him. Excellence is “alive.”
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Prov 18:21 NIV
- Excellence has answers. The discipline of focusing on God’s purpose and focusing on God’s voice leads us to insight, intelligence, wisdom, a keen mind, knowledge, understanding and the ability to interpret dreams and solve difficult problems. Pretty amazing… an anointing for intelligence!
There is a man in your kingdom who has the spirit of the holy gods in him. In the time of your father he was found to have insight and intelligence and wisdom like that of the gods. King Nebuchadnezzar your father — your father the king, I say — appointed him chief of the magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners. 12 This man Daniel, whom the king called Belteshazzar, was found to have a keen mind and knowledge and understanding, and also the ability to interpret dreams, explain riddles and solve difficult problems. Dan 5:11-12
- Excellence loves people. The first consequence of speaking life and finding answers is the realization that God has put that life and those answers in His people. Excellence in spirit is the ability to see the purpose and gifts of God in other people and to draw that out of them. When it happens they feel loved… and they love you back in return. Excellence is maintaining a high standard for the most important things… love is at the top of the list.
And now I will show you the most excellent way. 1 Cor 12:31 NIV
- Excellence Leads. People are inspired by and follow excellence in leaders who are positive and have real answers. Any braying donkey can point out problems, expose shortcoming in others, and prophesy doom and gloom – we can start the list by looking into the mirror. Excellent leaders pull the best out of people, not the worst. They excel and exceed, and their cup overflows to bless and encourage and multiply.
that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Eph 2:7-8 NKJV
Exceeding NT:5235 huperballo (hoop-er-bal’-lo); to throw beyond the usual mark, i.e. to surpass
…as you excel in everything — in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us… 2 Cor 8:7 NIV
Excel – NT:4052 perisseuo (per-is-syoo’-o); to superabound (in quantity or quality), be in excess, be superfluous; also (transitively) to cause to superabound or excel.