Daniel 5:12

Inasmuch as an excellent spirit, knowledge, understanding, interpreting dreams, solving riddles, and explaining enigmas were found in this Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar, now let Daniel be called, and he will give the interpretation.”

Daniel 6:3

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.

Everyone desires to excel at what they do- business, academics, career, Christianity, raising families, etc. The reason is not far-fetched; that so-much-prized feeling of accomplishment is second to nothing in life. Excelling at anything in life is a continuous process otherwise today’s success becomes tomorrow’s impediment.

The man, Daniel, in the above text was known for an excellent spirit. An excellent spirit always places you a step ahead of your equals. Daniel came into Babylon as a captive (prisoner).  The moment he arrived, he started distinguishing himself because an excellent spirit was in him. In a space of two years he had risen from prisoner to a ruler of an entire province. Over the years, the king appointed 120 governors to rule the kingdom and placed them under Daniel and two others as administrators. Still, Daniel stood out among these administrators and the king was tempted to set him over the whole kingdom. Can you beat that? It’s the power of an excellent spirit.  Further study of the life of this Daniel as recorded in the Bible, reveals the pillars guarding and propelling this excellent spirit.

Pillars of an Excellent Spirit

  1. Principles– Every great man or woman is guided by a set of principles. To excel at anything in life, you must be guided by standards which you must draw out for yourself. These standards form your core values that you must not deviate from. These principles will only aid you to success if they align with God’s standards. Daniel demonstrated self-discipline when he resolved in his heart not to defile himself with the king’s special delicacies. His reasons were best known to him, but it paid off.
  2. A desire to stand out– A captive in a strange land though he was, Daniel refused to go with the crowd. Great people are not afraid to stand up for what they believe. No sooner had he arrived at the royal courthouse, than he began to display his identity. When you find yourself in a new environment; school, work, community, etc, do not fail to stand up for who you really are. Knock off that idea of “I don’t want to look odd among others.” Great people dare to do the unusual. It is the little extra that glides you from the realm of the ordinary into that of the extraordinary people.
  3. Visualizing potentials in problems– Great people do not stay content in comfort zones. They are on the lookout for problems because in every problem they find opportunities to grow. As a student, see assignments as avenue to improve your knowledge in the subject. As a worker be ready to take calculated risks. In family relationships, resolve conflicts with intent to outgrow similar problem in the future. Great people are not afraid to take chances. Daniel was a risk taker. Shortly after he came to the palace, he embraced a challenge and it changed his story in the palace. The king ordered the execution of all his wise men for failure to tell his dream and interpret it. Well, Daniel learned of this problem and braced up for it. He requested to be given time, then he went back and informed his friends. They prayed for God’s help and the impossible became possible. By dawn, he was not only able to tell the king his dream, but also interpreted it. This was what raised Daniel above his equals- a problem solved; a risk taken; a challenge accepted. He was made ruler of the entire province of Babylon and his fellow wise men took their places beneath him.  
  4. A keen mind– in the first chapter of the book of Daniel, he was described as one with a knack for learning. This was among the attributes that brought him to the palace in the first place. To excel at whatever you do, you must be an enthusiast for knowledge. You must be well informed.

    Daniel 1:20

    And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm.

    The day you stop learning is the day you stop excelling.

  5. Well-drawn priorities – According to Goethe, things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least. Every great person knows he must put first things first- God above all. Even the king’s decree could not come first place above God in Daniel’s heart.

  6. Diligence

Proverbs 22:29

Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men.

Daniel did not only stand before the king. His excellent spirit brought the king to prostrate before him (Daniel 2:46). Diligence at whatever you do surely brings you out in the course of time.


            The excellent spirit rests on the platform of the Holy Spirit of God. Even the Queen mother who was not a believer testified of the Spirit of God in Daniel which made him stand out among all the wise men in Babylon (Daniel 5:11-12).

Deuteronomy 8:18

“And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

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