In the early days of my pastoral leadership, I pastored a lady who would always use statements like “Holy Spirit, I need a hug” and stuff like that. I always felt somehow hearing that. I thought; “Of all the dimensions in the Holy Spirit, it is a hug that you want, right?” As I grew better, I understood that there are both the cross and the crown of Christianity.

Friend, life in the kingdom is a complete life. When Jesus says to give us life in abundance, He was talking about life to the fullest (John 10:10). He was talking about the kind of life that can be described by both fun and fire. Some people live in extremes; they take the fun and leave the fire while some take the fire and leave the fun. The fun and the fire are not mutually exclusive; you can and should have both.

Perhaps you had wondered why John the Baptist promised that Jesus would baptise us with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Matthew 3:11). Well, I believe it is to communicate dimensions in God that we need to pay attention to. There is the dimension of the Holy Spirit that brings fun. This fun is not talking of frivolity but of “enjoyment.”

When you hear people say things like; “While souls are perishing, you are there eating Shawarma”, you know you are dealing with people who only know the fire side of the Kingdom, not the fun side. While it is important that we remain passionate about soul winning and kingdom expansion, we must not also rule out enjoying God’s blessings and pleasures on this side of eternity (Luke 16:19-21).

There is the Cross of Christianity, and there is the Crown of Christianity. We must enjoy the crown while we carry the cross of Jesus. We need to wear His crown with joy and humility and carry His cross with honour and dignity. While the cross keeps us focused, the crown keeps us joyful. Like Lazarus, don’t just be living holy while desiring to be fed with crumbs. You can live holy and enjoy abundance at the same time (Psalms 35:27).

One-third of the Kingdom life is joy, so a joyless Christian is a wrong representation of the Kingdom (Romans 14:17). Don’t let the devil rob you of the pleasures that God’s kingdom brings. While we remain purpose-driven and kingdom-minded, we need to remember that God’s right hand offers us a lifetime of pleasure (Psalms 16:11). You can have both.

‘Demola Awoyele
Lead Pastor,
Destiny Impact Church
Akure, Nigeria