Meditating the Word of God – 6th October
Today’s verse is from Romans 14:17. Here is the verse from three versions of the Bible.
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (version NIV)
For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. (version KJV)
[After all] the kingdom of God is not a matter of [getting the] food and drink [one likes], but instead it is righteousness (that state which makes a person acceptable to God) and [heart] peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (version AMPC)
The regular order is righteousness, peace and joy. But the title of this post has been intentionally changed. Happened to hear an extremely beautiful perspective on this verse. The preacher mentioned that many Christians are satisfied with living a righteous life. They do not go to the full extent of living a life of joy and peace. The Kingdom of God they seek to experience is only partial – limited to experiencing the righteousness aspect alone.
Righteousness comes to each person when they receive righteousness through the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. After confessing sinfulness and sins, each one of us in the right framework to confess without mouth and believe with our heart, receive salvation as a personal experience as well as righteousness through Jesus Christ, the only son of God.
While many stop at this, now we have the great privilege of stepping into it and enjoying the privilege of joy and peace in the Holy Spirit. When we have a bouquet, why be satisfied with a flower. When we have a palace, why be satisfied with a room. When we can have the privilege of reading the whole book we desire to read, why should we be limited to reading only one page!
The Peace and Joy in the Holy Spirit are precious, desirable and fulfilling aspects of the Kingdom of God. Desire and go for it. Having the righteousness, peace and joy of the Lord – all together is a totally different experience. Experience it once, you will always want it.
When we live life in fear, anxiety, sorrow and similar attributes, we choose the inferior rather than the superior option of Joy and Peace.
When you take steps, have fellowship with the Holy Spirit, who is to us the Counsellor and Comforter, you get to step into abiding Peace and abundant Joy in the Holy Spirit. Verses like this will become alive and a reality for you. My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. (reference James 1: 2 to 4)
When your relationship with the Holy Spirit deepens, you reach a place of peace. In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. (reference Psalm 4:8) Our trust, strength, security, protection is in HIM, because of which we are always in abiding peace. This peace gives us rest when we are awake as well as when we are lying down.