by Dr. Jack Hyles (1926-2001)

(Chapter 6 from Dr. Hyle's excellent book, Blue Denim and Lace)

"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." (Daniel 6:3)

In this verse we find that Daniel had an excellent spirit. There is more to this statement than meets the eye. Perhaps it would be better translated, "the spirit excelled in Daniel." In other words, the spiritual was more important to Daniel than the physical. The unseen was more important than the seen. The intangible was more important than the tangible. The spirit excelled in him.

When Jesus speaks of the end time, He says that one of its characteristics will be that people will be buying and selling, eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage. Now there is nothing wrong with buying and selling. There is nothing wrong with eating and drinking, and there is nothing wrong with marrying and giving in marriage, except it is a picture of our day when people excel in the flesh.

Daniel excelled in the spirit. He placed his physical appetites secondary, and the spirit became the chief thing. Here is the reason that Daniel could interpret dreams and obtain spiritual insight which few others did. How tragic it is that even good Christians spend so much time on the seen and so little on the unseen; so much time on the physical and so little on the spiritual; so much time on the tangible and so little on the intangible. in Daniel, the physical did not possess a spirit, but the spiritual possessed a body. This is why he could purpose in his heart that he would not sin against God or defile his flesh with the king's meat. This indicates that he gave much thought as to his purpose in life. He found his duties, found the will of God for his life, and built all else around it in a world of materialism and physical attraction.

Let it be said of us that the spirit excels in us as it did in Daniel. Let us major on the spirit. Let us think of and find our purpose in life. Then let us purpose in our hearts that we will do nothing that will steer us from our goal and purpose in life. The only way one could properly do this is to have the spirit excel in him.


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 “I am an old-fashioned preacher of the old-time religion,
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