One of the classic workarounds Christians try to get away with is to make our faith a matter of rules and regulations, what Paul calls “eating and drinking” here. A lot of the reason we struggle with reading Scripture is because we have put up mental blockers to strip it of its life. We read it like a student handbook or the owner’s manual for a used car. It is about stingy regulations that inhibit our freedom and are only necessary in times of trouble or turmoil.

But the Kingdom of God is alive. It is active, living and breathing. Through the pages of Scripture, the elements of nature, and the deep longings of your soul. It is a matter of righteousness.

Pursuing the character of the Kingdom is not about following rules, but about being with Jesus. It is about what is wise and foolish for your own sake as well as in consideration for how the world works, how to care for others, and who to trust.

Peace and joy are not orders; they are outcomes. The result of stepping into God’s acceptance of us and living out of it. The regulations are not a taskmaster’s whip, they are the guideposts to help lead us where we truly want to go, the crossroads between who God has made us to be and who we truly want to be.

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.”
– Romans 14:17-18