For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, Romans 14:17 NIV
I was so impressed with his archery skills. His barn wall was filled with perfect bullseye shots. I asked him how he became so proficient with his shooting? “Oh, it’s not that difficult. I shoot the arrow and then I go and draw the bullseye around the shot.”
This is a similar philosophy that Christians use to approach following Jesus. They live life and then hope that it was the right way to do things. Some feel that following Jesus is way too complicated with lots of rules to maintain. For many the target is unclear, so the way forward is up to interpretation. The reality is that Jesus has always been and will forever be the way, the truth and the life.
The simplicity can easily be overlooked. Follow Jesus by asking forgiveness of your willful sins and submit to His lordship over every area of your life. For those who believe and trust in Him, He fills their lives with His presence through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. After this we are expected to obey the Holy Spirit, all the time, every day, in every moment. Jesus said that the Spirit, the comforter, will lead and guide you into all truth.
Pursuing a full life of following the Spirit will yield continuing fruit. In Romans, Paul starts with righteousness which is both living holy and also an open and right status of relating to God. This holiness is imparted to us by Jesus, but it is also a destination of actions to move toward.
The Holy Spirit leads you to holy living. You will hear His voice encouraging you to choose the right path when temptation comes your way. You can reject His offer or you can submit to His leading. He wants you to experience the fruit of choosing to submit and follow His lead for acting righteously.
When you live in step with the Holy Spirit’s direction, you can then fully experience peace and joy that He offers. Even if you have been rebellious, you can ask for cleansing and forgiveness. Peace and Joy follow confession.
Many are longing for peace and joy in their lives, without understanding the prerequisite of righteousness first. There is a bending of our will to His that is the precursor to peace and joy.
Notice also, that there is an expectation that joy and peace are expected emotions for those who are citizens of the kingdom. The people of God should be some of the happiest and fulfilled people on the planet. Peace, joy and love are the emotional environment of the citizens of God’s kingdom because the Holy Spirit brings these with Him when He is present.
Ask for an increased ability to flow with the leading of the Holy Spirit in your life. May you have ears to hear and a heart willing to obey everything He asks of you. Then may you live continually in the favor of God’s righteousness, peace and joy.
Blessings Love y’all