For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Romans 14: 17

 

Rules are a good thing. They bring order to our world. In the early days of time God devised a very complex code of behavior when He was preparing His chosen people to enter into a period of dwelling in the land that He was giving to them. Then, over the course of history, God has continued to inspire people to structure our societies into units of governance that are intended to bring order to our lives and that generally promote peace and justice. Yet, in all of this cultural structure there is one essential thing missing, and no human government ever contains this aspect. No words in a charter, constitutional provision, or legislative mandate can accomplish it either.

 

For it is a fact that when we humans are left to our own devices, and God does grant us that sort of freedom; we will always opt for a human king as our ruler. We seem to desire that we can touch and hear the voice of our leader. We want to experience their reign in earthly terms. Unfortunately, that means that we are setting aside the heavenly for the worldly. It causes us to establish rules of law to order our days rather than ordering our hearts and our minds along the lines of God’s path of righteousness. In all of this we are ready and willing to engage in the debate about all manner of external issues; yet, we are reluctant, at best, to speak out for justice for the weak, life for the unborn, and righteousness as our rule of law.

 

In Christ, we are citizens of a greater kingdom than any of the ones that we have created on this earth, for we are adopted into the Kingdom of God. In this kingdom there is only one supreme ruler, and He provides the structure and the order for entering into life in its fullest sense. We do owe allegiance and we have responsibilities to human governments; however, all of this respect for government and its laws is founded upon the principle of following God and His Law. Our true King is very real, and His voice is clear and decisive to people who desire to hear. As the Spirit of Christ dwells in His people, He guides us into living in obedience to the rules of God’s Kingdom. These are the rules of love, peace, joy, and righteousness. It is in them that we find life.