When The Praises Go Up, The Blessings Come Down. by Rev Gene Holley
When the praises go up, the blessings come down.” We have heard this saying for so long that some believe it is Scripture. How do we grow? Some think if we just have the right praises going up, then God is going to come down and bring souls to Him. However, I have learned that it is obedience that brings the blessings down. Every time I have listened to the voice of God and obeyed when and how He spoke it, supernatural things have happened. So let me rephrase the saying to this: “When the obedience goes up, the blessings come down.”
Many people use the fall of Jericho as proof that praises bring the wall down, but we cannot neglect the significance of
the six days of marching silently that preceded the miraculous event. In the past seven years, Life Tabernacle has gone from an average weekly attendance of 180-200 to 500. However, I must tell you that there were many days with no increase, days of setback and sheer endurance. Just like Jericho, it could seem pointless sometimes, but obedience doesn’t ask how you feel. You just have to do what God asks and remember the promise of His Word: “In due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galatians 6:9). If He says walk, we must walk. If He says to be quiet, we cannot even utter a sound. The obedience of the children of Israel brought the wall down on the seventh day, not the sheer noise. What does obedience look like in Wichita Falls, Texas? God told us to walk the streets, the mall, the restaurants, and the neighborhoods. Obedience at Life Tabernacle is a lot of physical action. This calling on our church started with an elder
board member, Monroe Bivens, hearing the voice of God tell him to knock on every door in our city-and he did it before being taken home last year. He showed us the way of obedience. If Monroe Bivens can obey, we can obey also.
Many years ago, God gave a word to our church that a wave of souls was coming. God laid upon my heart that we
must put life-saving stations all along “the beach” of our region; so to obey meant that I must lead the way. We felt God
leading us to the Spanish-speaking community, and obedience meant that we must start another service. Adding this service to our weekly schedule meant taking our Saturday evenings for a year to hold a service in our fellowship hall until a new church was birthed.
As we continued to obey, another door was opened after traveling to a town near us to baptize family members of some
of our saints. At that baptism, God spoke through an elderly lady who asked if we would bring a church to their town where people were free to worship in the service. She invited us to a Bible study that was already happening on Saturday mornings, and obedience meant that we left our city at 7:00 AM every Saturday for over two years for Bible study before a new church was born. They now have their own building and recently had seventeen in attendance in a single service. Additionally, two other daughter works are planted and growing, and on Sunday mornings we even have an Air Force chaplain leading worship on our local base. Overall, obedience has cost our main campus over thirty individuals from ministry families who are reaching into our region. However, when obedience goes up, His blessings come down! Each time we have sent another group, we have grown to more than cover the empty seats that they left.
Obedience means that when people who are broken show up, we must take them in and spend time allowing God to rewrite their lives. People like Joseph and Christy Cameron. Joseph was a hip-hop DJ that wasn’t going to “drink the Kool-Aid!” But love and obedience to God turned their life around, and they have reached many others through the avenue the enemy meant to use for his devices. Joseph recently preached his first sermon and now teaches “Intro to Life” in our discipleship series, “Life University.” Obedience has truly brought blessings down.
God has called us to a place where our work for Him is the most important part of our life. Obedience has taught us
to drop everything else and do what He asks when He asks. Is our congregation perfect? No. But more than ever before we must strive to do His work.
Many people use the fall of Jericho as proof that praises bring the wall down, but we cannot neglect the significance
of the six days of marching silently that preceded the miraculous event. can testify to what happens when we obey. This means if the choice is between getting in a boat and going fishing or stepping through the door to teach a Bible study, the majority would drop the physical fishing to allow for spiritual fishing. That’s what it takes.
Obedience to His Word is a lifestyle: obedience to the call to reach our world; obedience to His voice in our daily life; obedience to love our neighbor as ourselves. It is far reaching, but so are the blessings that come down! Life Tabernacle is a testimony to what God can do when we obey. In a city of no real significance and a region of no physical beauty to most, God cares for every soul and will call men to do extraordinary things. “The people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits” (Daniel 1 :32, NKN).
Pastor Gene Holley, Jr. of Life Church, is a native of Wichita Falls, Texas. He is married to Karla Layne Holley and has two sons, Cameron and Chad.