Extraordinary Success

Daniel 6: 1 – 3

It seemed good to Darius to appoint 120 satraps over the kingdom, that they should be in charge of the whole kingdom and over them three commissioners (of whom Daniel was one), that these satraps might be accountable to them, and that the king might not suffer loss. Then this Daniel began distinguishing himself among the commissioners and satraps because he possessed an extraordinary spirit and the king planned to appoint him over the entire kingdom.

The Israelites have been carried off into captivity once again, this time at the hands of the Babylonians. When they were first taken into captivity the then king, Nebuchadnezzar, ordered that some of the youths of Israel should be groomed for service to the king and David was among those selected. Now Darius is king. Darius is organizing his command structure. One hundred and twenty satraps were appointed over the kingdom. We can think of them as governors or provincial rulers. These one hundred and twenty governors were accountable to three commissioners and the three commissioners reported directly to King Darius. David’s appointment to a commissioner position is remarkable in itself but even among the commissioners he stood out. The scripture records his great success as due to the remarkable spirit he possessed. We know who this remarkable spirit is. He is the Holy Spirit of God and we too can avail ourselves of his divine assistance. You see, Daniel was an outstanding man but his extraordinary talent was not innate. It was born of his close walk with the Spirit. To my way of thinking this in no way diminishes the greatness of Daniel. In fact, it elevates him in my mind because Daniel learned how to walk according to the Spirit which is a phenomenal accomplishment in any age but amazingly and incredibly so before the coming of Messiah. 

This is the same Daniel that was thrown into a pit of lions and survived. He is the same Daniel who had three good friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah whom we know better by their Babylonian names, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Daniel hung out with guys who walked through a fiery furnace without getting even the smell of smoke on their clothes while the people that threw them into the furnace were burned up. What gave these young men their incredible power? They possessed an extraordinary spirit. 

Okay, I am willing to accept that explanation. How about you? We know that with God, truly, all things are possible. I can fathom the Holy Spirit being the secret to this awesome power at work in the lives of these young men. Here is the problem though. You and I have this same Holy Spirit. In fact, we are living in the age of the Holy Spirit. Only after Jesus came and left was the Holy Spirit sent. It was only through Jesus’ victory that the age of the Holy Spirit was ushered in. The promised outpouring of the Spirit occurred well after these young men walked the earth. Now, because of what Jesus did, the Holy Spirit accepts our invitation and comes to live inside us. That never happened before. So, that means that we have greater access to the Holy Spirit than did Daniel and his friends. Since they did not have the Holy Spirit indwelling them as we can today, what made these captives who had few resources more powerful than most of us today?

 I believe the answer can be found in the tenth verse of chapter six where, referring to Daniel, it reads, “and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God.” Daniel spent a lot of time seeking God and giving thanks and I presume his friends were like minded. I do not preach a doctrine of works, far from it, but I cannot deny that there is something that happens within us when we spend time with the Father. I am not saying that God will reward you with miracles if you will spend sufficient time in prayer. All of God’s gifts are free. We didn’t have to do anything to earn the greatest gift so we do not have to earn the others. None the less, prayer causes a change. We build up ourselves and our spirits when we spend time in prayer and in the presence of God.

We talked recently about sowing to the Spirit. It is basic logic to conclude that if we want to reap from the Spirit we must first sow to the Spirit. Said differently, if we wish to reap spiritual benefits we must sow spiritual seeds. To me that is as simple as saying, if you want tomatoes, plant tomato seeds. Don’t expect tomatoes if you put cucumber seeds in the ground. Look at what you want, at what you need and then sow that type of seed. But let us take our thoughts one step further. There is nothing in this earth or universe that did not begin in the spiritual realm. Even the tomato began in the mind of God who then communicated His thought to Jesus and the Holy Spirit and commissioned them to bring His vision into being. They then created the tomato in the realm of the Spirit and manifested it into the physical. That is how everything comes into being. Therefore, we, who have a pipeline to God, can go right to the source of creation and have all our needs met. When we spend time with our Holy Father, He shows us how to create the answers we need. He teaches us how to walk hand in hand with the Holy Spirit so that miracles become everyday occurrences. This is God’s plan for us. He promised the outpouring of the Holy Spirit thousands of years ago looking forward to this day when He could teach us how to live and walk as He does. It is His Garden of Eden plan, the way that Adam and Eve were supposed to walk and work. This is the life of abundance that Jesus was tasked with bringing into the earth. It is here now and we can walk in it even more powerfully than Daniel and his friends. It is all at your fingertips. It is in your next breadth. There is nothing you cannot have, nothing you cannot do. Just spend time with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and let them lead you.