What is the Spirit of Excellence?
Excellence = the quality of being excellent…
Excellent = superior, very good of its kind, eminently good…
2 Cor 3:18 (AMP)
And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit.
For us to be transfigured, from one degree of glory to another, we have to recognize what took us there, what took us from this one degree to another.
… all of us continued to behold…
behold = 1.) to perceive through sight or apprehension, 2.) to gaze upon
“All of us” “continued to behold” or continued to look in the Word of God, as in a mirror. When we look in the Word of God, we are looking in a mirror. We see ourselves in the Word, and we see ourselves conforming to the image of God in the Word of God. The Word of God is a mirror of ourselves, showing us how God sees us. God sees His children as victorious, as redeemed, as saved, as healed, as overcoming, and as conquerors. Regardless of where we are, what valley we may be walking through, the Word of God shows us how God sees us in His eyes.
The Word of God tells us that “by His stripes, I am healed”. When I am in need of healing, I read the Word of God, and begin to see myself, as in a mirror through the Word, being healed.
For us to continue to see this image of what we look like in the word, we have to continue to look in the word. We cannot just take a quick peek, then walk away, and expect to continue to know how we look according to the word. James tells us (v. 1:22) to be “doers of the Word [obeying the message], and merely listeners only”.
… constantly being transfigured into His very own image…
transfigured = to give a new and typically exalted or spiritual appearance to; transform outwardly and usually for the better
The more we get into the Word, the more we study the Word, the more we meditate on the Word, the more we let the Word soak into our hearts, our spirits, and really get inside of us – the more we are transformed into the image of Christ. We are changed into His image.
What is the image of Christ? The image of Christ is “excellence”, it is the Spirit of Excellence. The Father did nothing that was mediocre. As He made the Earth, and the stars, and the planets, and the solar system, and the billions of galaxies, there was nothing that was mediocre. There was nothing that the Father did that He did not complete. The Father not only created, and completed what He created, but He also took time to examine His creation. What was He looking for? Excellence. How do we know that? When He examined His work, His creation, He stepped back, looked it over, and said “this is good…”. He was pleased with what He saw. Would the Father have been pleased if He had done a mediocre job? No, I don’t think so. Everything that He created was in excellence.
How excellent is thy name.
His very name is excellent, and the very nature of God is hidden in the names of God, and His very nature is Excellence. Looking through the Word of God, everything that He created was Excellent. He made us excellent, and we are conforming to His image.
There is an example in the Bible of a man of excellence. His name was Daniel.
Because an excellent spirit, knowledge, and understanding to interpret dreams, clarify riddles, and solve knotty problems were found in this same Daniel…
What was found in Daniel? An excellent spirit – the Spirit of Excellence…
One of the results of having the Spirit of Excellence can be found in Daniel 1:20
17 As for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all [kinds of] visions and dreams.
18 Now at the end of the time which the king had set for bringing [all the young men in], the chief of the eunuchs brought them before Nebuchadnezzar.
19 And the king conversed with them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they were assigned to stand before the king.
20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding concerning which the king asked them, he found them ten times better than all the [learned] magicians and enchanters who were in his whole realm.
When you have the Spirit of Excellence, it is not hidden. The world can see it. It is seen by the world.
Look at Daniel 1:20 – In ALL matters, they were found 10 times better.
Now, what made these men 10 times better than all the other learned scholars and magicians? They were flowing in the Spirit of Excellence. When you catch the Spirit of Excellence, you stand out from the crowd!
The world says “if they want me to do more, they better pay me more, and until they pay me more, I’m not doing any more…”. The Spirit of Excellence says to do more now. And when you do more now, you will end up making more.
So what is the Spirit of Excellence?
1.) Excellence is the image of God: God is NOT mediocre.
mediocre = of moderate or low quality, value, ability, or performance
God is the very top, the very definition of excellence. Any area of our lives, anything that we do, if it is done mediocre, we are not conforming to the image of Christ. Whether it is our job, an area that we volunteer to help the church, any area. If this is mediocre, we are not conforming to the Spirit of Excellence.
If you make a commitment to be somewhere or do something, and you don’t do it, you are not conforming to the Spirit of Excellence. We should do things as “unto the Lord”. As we do things “unto the Lord”, we should do those things with excellence. Defining “unto the Lord” could be “Spirit of Excellence”.
If you had an appointment with the Lord, would you show up? Would you be on time? How would you dress? If you were going to be late, and it was unavoidable, would you call Him?
We can’t say that we are doing something “unto the Lord”, unless we are really doing it “unto the Lord”. If Jesus was sitting here, would we still be doing it the same way?
God is not mediocre, He is not half way.
2.) Excellence is a Spirit (a characteristic, or an attitude, not another spirit like the Holy Spirit)
It is not taught, it is caught. You have to want to catch the Spirit of Excellence. You have to predetermine in your heart that you want to catch it, or you won’t. The Spirit of Excellence can be applied to your work, to your ministry, to anything that you put your hand to do.
If we are not doing it with the Spirit of Excellence – God is not in it.
God is in what you do in the same measure as the excellence you do it with… If you want more of His glory in your life, this is one way to see His glory. Do it with excellence. God doesn’t do anything, unless it is with excellence. Nothing in creation was created without excellence, and He doesn’t associate with anything below excellence.
3.) Excellence always stands out in a crowd, because people are not accustomed to seeing it. It is a rarity in today’s world.
4.) Excellence is a destination and a direction, not a state of being. It is where we are heading. Nobody, short of God, has arrived at excellence. We are to continually strive for more excellence in what we do.
5.) Excellence does not work from the outside-in, but from the inside-out. It starts at the core, at the heart, and works out.
6.) Excellence is a battle between your flesh and your spirit. Your flesh will keep you in mediocrity every time, but your Spirit was created by the Lord, and is already an excellent Spirit. The problem is that it does not have dominance. If you are mediocre in what you do, your flesh is ruling – not your Spirit-man.
7.) Excellence makes us judge ourselves. We have to judge ourselves to determine if we are operating in Excellence. The Bible tells us that we don’t have the right to judge anyone else, but we do have the right to judge ourselves. The flesh will tell you “I want to judge others and not me…” The spirit will tell you “I’m only allowed to judge me, and I won’t say anything about anybody else…”.
8.) Excellence is a habit. We have to strive for excellence. It is not the achieving of excellence that becomes a habit, but the continual act of striving for it. Until we habitually strive for excellence, we will not be able to catch the Spirit of Excellence.
9.) Excellence is a reputation, and so is mediocrity.
For us to begin to flow and operate in excellence, we must begin by judging ourselves. We must examine ourselves and determine the areas that we can and should improve upon. We don’t want to go our entire lives living a mediocre life, when we could have had the fullness of God and His glory by operating in excellence. We must compare the way we are doing what we are doing to the way that it could be done. If we are greeting, or ushering, we should compare how we perform the service with how it CAN be done. We must compare our present standard with the potential that God has uniquely and lovingly placed within each one of us.
Striving for excellence helps us fulfill the potential that God already has on the inside. God already has a plan for us, but most of the time, we don’t fulfill the plan because we never reach the true potential that we have inside.