For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serves Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Rom 14:17‐18
Most Places are usually characterized by the activities carried out in them. Oxford is known for its university; Heathrow is known for airport terminals; Israel is known for its sacred history. Likewise, the Kingdom of God is characterized by righteousness, peace and joy. Where the kingdom of God is, these three will be there.
As you may well know, kingdoms are domains in which a King exercises his rule and he is recognized as the highest hierarchy. In the Kingdom of God, God is the King and whoever dwells in His Kingdom acknowledges and obeys Him as the supreme ruler.
Unfortunately, many people have done things to please God, yet they have not obeyed Him. Doing things to please God is the performance of religion, but doing things to obey God is the practice of righteousness. Scripture says, unless you obey God better than the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees do, you can’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven at all! Mat 5:20 NLT. The Pharisees only minded the things that outwardly please the traditions of men, but they did not obey God, Luke 16:15.
In the days of Samuel the Prophet, God gave an assignment to King Saul, to go and destroy the Amalekites that had not favoured the children of Israel when they came from Egypt, (1 Sam 15:2-3). However, when Saul went to do the assignment, he did what he thought would please God, but never obeyed God. Instead of destroying everything as God told him to, Saul pleased the people by sparing the King, the best of the sheep, the oxen and the lambs for sacrifice to God, (1 Sam 15:15). In doing this, Saul disobeyed God and lost favour before God. He esteemed in pleasing people and practicing religious sacrifice above accomplishing what God asked him to do. For this reason, Saul lost the Kingdom to David whom God said was a man after His own heart.
Do not lose your place in the Kingdom for the practice of religion. Religion is about outward cleansings to appear good before men. Practice righteousness by obeying God’s word in your life that you may dwell in the kingdom of God.
When Jesus was asked when the kingdom should come, He answered “… the kingdom of God is within you…” Luke 17:20-21. Implying that the state in you determines whether the kingdom is in you or not. If the kingdom of God is within you, the characters of the Kingdom of God ought to be in you. Righteousness Peace, joy in the Holy Ghost ought to be found in you.
When you seek these things in what you are doing, you can know when you are in and when you are out of the kingdom. If there is no righteousness in what you are doing, know it that you are outside the kingdom of God. So practice righteousness that you may dwell in the kingdom of God.
I belong to the Kingdom of God. I am the righteousness of God and righteousness reigns in me. I practice righteousness and God fulfills His righteous will in my life, as He leads in the path of righteousness for His namesake. Amen.