I like the word excellent! Beside the sound of it, it seem to be carrying with it decency, honor, dignity, respect, dependability, uprightness, trust and deep spiritual engagement. I would be happy to be described with this word for real as was used for Daniel in Dan 6:3 [KJV] “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.”
I looked up at the synonyms of this word and here is what I found: Brilliant, exceptional, outstanding, admirable superb, tremendous etc. So it is a loaded word indeed, especially when you consider the spiritual weight value added to it.
I cannot think of a better word to describe the man that had become the1st priority for the king in the highest leadership position next to the king and one that all other top leaders would unilaterally like to eliminate but would not find an easy way of doing so. “Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he [was] faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find [it] against him concerning the law of his God.” Dan 6:4, 5 [KJV]
Is this the standard that God requires for his people? Then it looks too high to humanly achieve. I looked at the many outstanding bible characters like Moses, Abraham, Noah, Job among others and I do not find one matching Daniel’s description and consistency. “Through His Son, God has revealed the excellency to which man is capable of attaining. And before the world God is developing us as living witnesses of what man may become through the grace of Christ. . . .” – God’s Amazing Grace, pp. 268
God’s plan for us is to become like Jesus, not like Daniel but like Jesus. Daniel aimed higher and attained the excellence we read of today but it came at a price of total dedication and perseverance to the things of God and trials from the world. Today we read of Daniel and admire but that is what God is promising us, that in Him we can attain the excellence of Jesus.
“Higher than the highest human thought can reach is God’s ideal for His children. Godliness– godlikeness–is the goal to be reached. Before the student there is opened a path of continual progress. He has an object to achieve, a standard to attain, that includes everything good, and pure, and noble. He will advance as fast and as far as possible in every branch of true knowledge. But his efforts will be directed to objects as much higher than mere selfish and temporal interests as the heavens are higher than the earth.”-Education pp. 18, 19.
When you will see conspiracies against you, when people look for ways of bringing you down because of your spiritual excellence then you are on the path of Daniel. God is in need of such people in the world as His ambassadors.