“It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom 120 satraps, to be throughout the whole kingdom; and over them three high officials, of whom Daniel was one, to whom these satraps should give account. Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. Then the high officials and the satraps sought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel with regard to the kingdom, but they could find no ground for complaint or any fault, because he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him… He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.” Daniel 6:1-4,10
“Pick out from among you men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to [serve tables].’ And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit… And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people… But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking… And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel...
“Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, ‘Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’ But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him… And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” Acts 6:2-3,5,8,10,15; 7:54-60
A life yielded to and filled with the Spirit of God stands apart from the world, and stands out in it. Even though some may not be able to identify Him, and might resist His influence, they cannot disregard His power. (1 Corinthians 2:14)
Leaders and servants, citizens and exiles, young and old, learned and simple, all who know Jesus are indwelt with His Spirit, our present help and guarantee of future hope. Living in us, He distinguishes our intellectual stances, our habits, our zeal, our industry, our demeanor, our countenance, our soul peace. When the onlooking world cannot explain excellence in wisdom, cannot fathom unruffled faithfulness, nor understand serenity and joy in the midst of turmoil, they are confronted with the Spirit’s exquisite manifestation in humanity, and will either be drawn or repulsed. How will we make a difference? (John 14:16; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesians 1:13-14)
Where am I lacking His sway? He gives courage in fear, calm in trouble, steadfastness in spiritual disciplines, strength against temptation and opposition, boldness to proclaim truth and suffer for His name. Are there specific areas where I have refused to surrender to His ministry? (Isaiah 41:10; Ephesians 6:10-19; Hebrews 4:15)
Lord, distinguish me in my places of influence by Your Spirit. Do what is needed in my heart for You to take complete precedence and obvious residence, that others see the glory of Jesus and are irresistibly attracted.