Daniel – A Spirit of Excellence – 2

God created each of us for success! Each of us were made for more!

Potential isn’t enough to guarantee promotion, we must discover the missing ingredient – the secret sauce.

(Daniel 6:3 NKJV) 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.

We see this same thing in Joseph, Moses, David, and others. Because they had a spirit of excellence, they were all promoted.

  • An excellent spirit will promote you in business, in ministry, or at home with your family.
  • A spirit of excellence is a heart attitude.

Excellence (Online Definition) – consistent in good character, attitude, quality, and standards.

Perfectionism (American Heritage Dictionary) a tendency to set extremely high standards and to be dissatisfied with anything less. Perfectionism is proud and arrogant. It is critical and judgmental of people, ideas, and work that doesn’t meet its standard. (It is associated with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and other mental health problems.)

  • A spirit of excellence is found in our identity.
  • If you want to begin rising to the top, discover your identity in Christ and begin living out of that place and an excellent spirit will rise out of you too!
  • A spirit of excellence does not compromise!

Compromise (Dictionary) – to make concessions to settle a disagreement; accept standards that are lower than is desirable.

  • Whatever you compromise to keep, you will ultimately lose.
  • The opposite of compromise is conviction.

Conviction (Dictionary) – a strong belief or opinion.

A conviction is what we hold to based on the Word of God when everyone around us is compromising.

  • People compromise because they cannot handle the thought of persecution.

In the book of Daniel, we see Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah had already been promoted by King Nebuchadnezzar because God blessed them with great wisdom and they had an excellent spirit.

But the King decided to make a huge gold statue of himself and demand that everyone fall down and worship the statue when certain music was played.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to bow – they refused to compromise. Their conviction was that God was the only true and living God, they would worship Him only, and He would bring deliverance.

Nebuchadnezzar heard of their disobedience and was furious. The King actually gave them a second chance to bow but they refused. He then gave the order for these three Hebrew men to be thrown into the fiery furnace.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were not afraid of what the King or anyone else thought about them for that matter. They told the king that his threats were no big deal. Their God was greater than any man that sets himself up as a god.

  • A person with a spirit of excellence is not concerned with what other people think about them.
  • They are only concerned with what God thinks about them.

(Daniel 3:16 NKJV) (16) Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.

(Daniel 3:16 NLT) Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you.

“Your threats are no big deal to us…”

(Proverbs 29:25 MSG) The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in GOD protects you from that.

(Psalms 118:6 NLT) The LORD is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?

(Hebrews 13:5-6 NKJV) Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU.” (6) So we may boldly say: “THE LORD IS MY HELPER; I WILL NOT FEAR. WHAT CAN MAN DO TO ME?”

This is why Jesus did not feel the need to respond to the religious leaders or Pilate when He was arrested.

(Daniel 3:15-16 NKJV) Now if you are ready at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, and you fall down and worship the image which I have made, good! But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?” (16) Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.

(Daniel 3:17-18 NKJV) (17) If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. (18) But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”

They were not questioning whether God would deliver them; they were questioning whether Nebuchadnezzar would follow through with his threat.

(Daniel 3:19-24 NKJV) Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. He spoke and commanded that they heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. (20) And he commanded certain mighty men of valor who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, and cast them into the burning fiery furnace. (21) Then these men were bound in their coats, their trousers, their turbans, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. (22) Therefore, because the king’s command was urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. (23) And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. (24) Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.”

  • They had the promise of God that they would be delivered.

(Isaiah 41:10 AMPC) Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice. [Act 18:10]

(Isaiah 43:2 ERV) When you have troubles, I am with you. When you cross rivers, you will not be hurt. When you walk through fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not hurt you.

(Daniel 3:25-30 NKJV) “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” (26) Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here.” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire. (27) And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them. (28) Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God! (29) Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this.” (30) Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the province of Babylon.

  • When you don’t compromise, despite the pressure, you can count on the Fourth Man being in the fire with you!
  • He will bring you out and promotion will follow!!

Do what God tells you to do. Don’t compromise. Don’t let potential problems or potential loss sidetrack you. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego didn’t, and here we are still talking about them 3,000 years later!