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Extend Your Fall Feasts with These Practices: Part 1

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Extend Your Fall Feasts with These Practices: Part 1

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As with all of God’s Feasts, there’s no question the fall Feasts offer a time of spiritual clarity and renewal. When we keep these days, the messages we hear grow our understanding of a time yet ahead when Christ returns to this earth. His firstfruits will be made spirit and help Him set up the government of God for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:2).

In observing these days, it’s common to experience a spiritual high that is fueled by hearing messages of hope and our sharing ourselves with others; however, it’s a spiritual high that may wane after these Feasts if we are not strategic in using them as a springboard for continued growth.

So how do we avoid experiencing a spiritual downturn following the fall Feasts? Or at a minimum, what actions can we take to ensure these Feasts move us forward in our spiritual development (2 Peter 3:18)?

We often use the phrase “best practices” in business and academics today to describe those behaviors that facilitate success on the job or in school. When applied to spiritual development, best practices involve articulating precise steps you and I can take to ensure further growth. Are there best practices in God’s Word we can use to ensure continued growth after the fall Feasts? There are. Interestingly, adult learning research backs them up. Here are the first two best practices.

Best Practice 1: Share Your Feast

One thing we may not realize when we experience an enriching event is that we are designed by God with a recall system that extends the benefit of an event beyond an initial experience. Science backs this up. When we share with others what we learned from a sermonette or sermon, what we enjoyed at a Feast site or what we gained from a new friendship, the good we take from the event is reinforced (Philippians 4:8).

God offers specific examples of this in His word. For instance, in Nehemiah 8, Nehemiah records the nation of Judah’s experience when they rediscovered the Word of God after returning to Jerusalem following 150 years in captivity. Note Nehemiah 8:9-12: “And Nehemiah, who was the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, ‘This day is holy to the LORD your God; do not mourn nor weep.’ For all the people wept when they heard the words of the Law. Then he said to them, ‘Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.’ So the Levites quieted all the people, saying, ‘Be still, for the day is holy; do not be grieved.’ And all the people went their way to eat and drink, to send portions and rejoice greatly, because they understood the words that were declared to them.”

While God had Nehemiah document this encouraging event as an official record of what Judah experienced after returning from Babylon, knowing what we know about how humans think, Nehemiah’s words also extended the benefits Judah gained from keeping the Feast of Tabernacles and Eighth Day. Drawing on what Paul notes in 1 Corinthians 12:26 (i.e., when one experiences something, we all experience it), when someone shares a message from the fall Feasts with another person, the sharing not only cements what was heard by the listener, but the value of a message is extended to another person by way of God’s Spirit working with and/or in them.

So best practice 1 is to share with others what you’ve experienced during the fall Feasts. When you do this, you and they will gain a spiritual boost.

What is another practice we can use to enhance our growth after the Feast?

Best Practice 2: Review Your Notes

In an age when fewer and fewer people take notes, note-taking is a lost art of learning. Extensive research confirms that notetaking is valuable for these reasons: First, it requires that we shift our hearing from passive to active listening to capture what a speaker offers. Second, since the human rate of speech is faster than the rate we write, note-taking requires that we distill a message to its essence to ensure we capture what’s most important. And third, even as we document a message, the unique way we take notes helps us personalize information, thereby making the content our own.

In the early 20th century, British social psychologist Graham Wallas offered that while many view learning as a single event, in actuality maximum learning occurs when an event is repeated. Here’s where your Feast notes come in; they provide you the ability to review those messages and scriptures featured during the fall Feasts.

God underscores the importance of note-taking by requiring the kings of Israel to do exactly that during their reign. In Deuteronomy 17:18-19, Moses shares the following: “Also it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites. And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes.” The scriptures that follow clarify that God’s charge was mandated to ensure a king of Israel followed God during his reign and lived a humble and a long life. Those kings who did this and followed God, reaped these benefits.

Best practice 2, then, entails reviewing our notes after the Feast. With the first two best practices established, practice three and four will appear in the second part of this series. In the meantime, be sure to put the first two practices to work for you.