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Extend Your Fall Feasts with These Practices: Part 2

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Extend Your Fall Feasts with These Practices: Part 2

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Best Practice 3: Think Like a Teacher

An important truth that is emphasized during the fall Feasts is that God is seeking kings and priests to work for Him in the future. John says as much in Revelation 5:10: “And (You, Jesus Christ) have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.” Fundamentally, priests are teachers of the law and shepherds of others. During Christ’s ministry, He was constantly teaching. And in that we are called to emulate Him, we need to understand and model how he taught (Philippians 2:5).

In the gospels, we recognize that Christ commonly uses stories to teach his followers. At times, He may begin a story with a startling statement, but unlike what we sometimes see in our media today, He backs these statements with trustworthy evidence. Depending on the situation, we also see Jesus use exaggeration or humor and even silence to get a point across (John 8:8). How He taught was captivating not only because of His content (Matthew 7:29) but also because He was engaging in His style of delivery (Matthew 5:25).

As we look forward to the Millennium and our role in it, Isaiah the prophet shares this about what will take place once Christ returns: “And though the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore, but your eyes shall see your teachers. Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left” (Isaiah 30:20-21). In short, Isaiah confirms that those who are used by Christ will be teachers of truth. We will be teachers of truth who must connect with others at a personal level.

In that the fall Feasts function as a short course detailing the important biblical events that take place yet ahead, the notes we took during the Feasts represent a powerful instructor toolbox for developing the teacher in all of us. Here’s how: one way to extend what we’ve learned is by rewriting our notes and doing so with learning objectives in mind.

Separately, we might re-outline a message we benefitted from in a way that feels more personal to us. Further, we could take a message and add points or scriptures to it, thereby extending what we learn from it.

Once you’ve done this, visualize yourself delivering the revised message to an audience. Cognition research has established that our brain does not differentiate visualization from reality. This is why meditation is such a powerful tool. It allows us to mentally perform a desired behavior countless times so that we may (physically) practice it when needed.

In sum, thinking like a teacher has tremendous upside. It is an excellent way to extend what we gained from the fall Feasts.

So best practice 3 is to think like a teacher. This takes us to a fourth and last best practice.

Best Practice 4: Identify Areas for Growth

While we routinely acknowledge that the Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day offer a week packed with messages, at times we may overlook the fact that our time away to observe these Feasts also affords a breather from our work-a-day and school-a-day schedule. This unique life pause gives us the ability to assess where we are in our lives and note what needs work.

Whereas God requires that we examine ourselves at the time of the Passover (1 Corinthians 11:28-29), the time after the fall Feasts afford us a head start to act on that charge. When we go to our Father in prayer and ask Him to reveal where we need growth, He is there to provide right answers (James 4:7-8; 2 Timothy 1:7).

Maybe you’ve already identified what needs work in the coming months. If so, you are ahead of the game. If not, now is the time to ask yourself: Where would you like to be (developmentally) in six months? What three to five spiritually S.M.A.R.T. (i.e., Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound) goals would help prepare you for Passover? Would you like to add 50 memory verses to your spiritual repertoire? Would you benefit from a deeper understanding of prophetic books like Isaiah or Jeremiah? Would you like to be better equipped to explain a fundamental belief to a friend or co-worker who asks what you believe? Or would you like to be more reflective of true religion because you’ve made a conscious effort to visit a widow or mentor someone fatherless in your area (James 1:27)?

Whatever may be your area of growth, now is the time to chart a course for improvement. Rest assured; our loving Father and elder brother, Jesus Christ, are there to teach and mentor us through this process.

Now Execute Your Plan

Each best practice in this series—share your feast, review your notes, think like a teacher, identify areas of growth—is offered to minimize the spiritual low we may experience after the fall Feasts and promote Christian growth. At the same time, acting on these practices bring not only character development (Romans 5:4) but fulfillment.

In the mid-twentieth century, social psychologist Kurt Lewin published an equation for personal change. It reads this way: Individual change = (a); Unfreezing a (bad) habit and changing the (bad) habit (to a good one) = (b), and refreezing the (good) new habit = (c). About 2,000 years before, Paul was inspired by God to offer those He calls: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2). Executing a plan of spiritual growth brings about the transformation God seeks in us.

In sum, God provides His Feasts to understand His plan and boost the development of those who observe them. Those who are wise capitalize on the fall Feasts. In doing so, they—we—move closer our goal of citizenship in God’s Kingdom.

Do not let the spiritual high you experienced during the fall Feasts wane; instead, use your Feast experience as a springboard for sustained spiritual growth.