…for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17 [NKJV]
No human system can generate the dimensions of fullness and fulfillment God’s kingdom life bring us. The present passion so many of us feel, to drink of “all the fullness of God,” is a quest for the way the Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus as King in our daily life and living. There are no religious substitutes for the reality of this order of life.
As Paul wrote here, he was laboring with a problem, for everywhere he turned he found opponents to the message of Christ’s kingdom joys. His most ardent enemies weren’t Roman soldiers or Roman government, but a strange breed of religious diehards. They knew the true God but hated the refreshing liberty of Holy Spirit-filled living Paul was preaching. They kept imposing ritual requirements related to the Mosaic code—issues concerning certain “eating and drinking” stipulations. Paul wasn’t arguing for undisciplined living but simply for unsaddled souls! In effect, he says, “God’s kingdom isn’t in the trappings of tradition, but His rule brings His right ways (righteousness), His mighty ways (peace) and His bright ways (joy).” Let’s all open full to such fullness—and to His kingdom’s expansion in our souls.
Spirit Filled Life Daily Devotional Bible, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers) 1998, c1993.