Honor is bestowed upon us by God. It does not come from men or from the works we synthesize. Pleasing God with our life is crucial to receive honor. God makes ways and creates circumstances to honor us. One of the beautiful things of leading life through God is being relaxed. In other words, we leave the consequences to Him. He takes the job of honoring us. We know this, because we have learned to place our life in His hands and trust Him. Although there will be worrying situations, He leads us out of them. So, we end up relaxed. In this fantastic phase God honors us. He continually provides, to our surprise, that we stand apart from the rest. One of His desires for His children is that He wants them to be a class apart; it has always been His wish. “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” (Dan. 6:3).
Daniel was a man that lived in the footsteps of God. He turned himself into a person that adhered to God. God honored him. The first thing God did is turn him into an extraordinary person. No one in the Babylonian kingdom was as wise as him. When the Bible says he had an extraordinary spirit, it is obvious that he was different from the rest. Something made his inner man glorious. It was God’s provision. When it comes to honoring us, God begins with our inner man. It is where He places all His heavenly treasures. They are the ones that turn us into outstanding people. Many church goers miss this point. They assume honor to be in material things, even in such things as name and accolades, and relentlessly pursue them. But God honors His children with them, and yet, His way for them lies with conferring on them an extraordinary spirit. Unless we are able to reflect His Spirit first, He does not honor us. His honors upon us are ones that remain forever; they reflect His glory, desire and power. Daniel was honored with riches and authority on more than one occasion, but not before he had an extraordinary spirit. What reflects a spirit such as God gave Daniel? These are the qualities Daniel had:
- Discerning knowledge
- Interpretation of dreams (thoughts)
- Explanation of enigmas
- Solving difficult problems
None of these are of this world and hence, he was distinguished from the rest. Honor along with other things embraced him. It is not difficult for God to bless us with great riches or any other honor, but it is His thoughtfulness and wisdom to first make us outstanding people. The good sense in it is that –
- We must not dishonor Him with His blessings and incur His anger
- We must not exchange Him for carnal desires
- We must fully understand His impetus to honor us
- We must continue with the extraordinary spirit to honor Him
As individuals we ought to be with heavenly things. This alone makes us outstanding people doing outstanding things through the will of God. Then, God lays more honors upon us. One of the things Daniel did besides enjoying all the honor is sticking to the extraordinary spirit God gave him. He did it by continuing to understand God and His desire for him. In every circumstance he faced he sought His insight. The experiences he had with Him made him realize that there are answers with Him for everything. He never compromised Him for his situations. The primary cause for a person failing to attain an extraordinary spirit, even as many in the former days, is explained in the words of Jesus. “Jesus said to them, ‘Is this not the reason you are mistaken, that you do not understand the Scriptures or the power of God?’” (Mark 12:24).
How do we view God’s Word or His power toward us? It is the first thing we must ask ourselves, if God should honor us. We should not think the Scripture speaks to no purpose. It is the sole source to know God and His ways. The best outcome of understanding His power is sanctification and sanctification is the way to possess an outstanding spirit. Unless we are purified in the truth and are being purified in it, God does not take us up on the ladder of honors. Thus, Jesus prayed saying, “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth” (John 17:17).
By sanctifying us in the truth God washes us thoroughly with His understanding to rid us of all filth. This then makes us viable for possessing an extraordinary spirit. You know why some do not have it even after being sanctified in the truth? It is because they again garner bits and pieces from the world and hold them to their chest. They do not practice zeal for God to live in sanctification. Such will always seek honor by their own ways. The reasoning of the flesh or the rationality there in it must first become obscure. Daniel’s extraordinary spirit had nothing in common with the flesh. Hence, he was able to distinguish himself from the rest and obtained more honor. We are certainly called by God to receive honor beginning with an outstanding spirit. And here are the things we must do.
- Submit our spirit to Him for complete understanding of Him. Let no fleshly thought or opinion float in our mind. Do not entertain carnal desires while seeking to know Him. “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (Rom. 1:21).
- Be prepared to sacrifice. Daniel made sacrifices for God and God in turn honored him. He did not give into the king’s ration that was of idolatry. Rather, he and his friends took vegetables and water. Again, he gladly accepted being thrown into the lions’ den than deny the God of heaven and earth. He refused to count on his honor. And Paul too said, “But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ” (Phil. 3:7). Both were abundantly honored by God.
- Do not seek ignorance. It is tempting and appears rather harmless to revisit our former manner of life. But if our vision is to obtain honor from God, we must pursue obedience. “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance” (1 Pet. 1:14).
- Do not grow weary. “And you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary” (Rev. 2:3). God who sees our stubbornness to live for Him will visit us. He will honor us with an extraordinary spirit and with the outcome it brings.