Reflect, Review, Recharge, Rejoice

Have you ever been frustrated when you go to use something
and the batteries are dead? It happens to me all the time,
and seems to be more prevalent as our world increasingly
relies on remote control and electronic devices. My cell phone,
Blackberry™, laptop, remotes, bluetooth headset, and car, have
all stopped working at some point due to a dead battery. Even our
grandfather clock needs to be wound up with weights, in order
to continue running. Our spirit, which is our relationship with
God, is very similar to a battery. How well we take care of it and
how often we charge it, directly relates to our closeness to God.
Daily activities in the world have a negative effect on us and tear
us down. This will eventually separate us from God, unless we
strengthen and recharge our spirit with Him. Prayer, fasting, Bible
study, and fellowship are all ways in which we can energize our
spirit. God designed the weekly Sabbath and the Holy Days to help
us rejuvenate our spirit. These days force us to “break” from the
normal routine and focus on God. During creation, God rested on
the seventh day and decided it would be good for man to do this
as well. He has also instituted Holy Days and festivals to allow us
more opportunities to remember the history of God’s love and look
forward to His future plan. These days are very rich in meaning and
intertwined throughout the entire Bible. As we partake in these
special days, we can learn more about them, while we learn more
about God and become closer to Him.

The Feast of Tabernacles

One of the largest and most involved festivals is The Feast of
Tabernacles, followed by The Last Great Day. This comprises eight
consecutive days and involves two special annual Sabbaths. We are
required to dwell in booths, or temporary dwellings, and fellowship
together. It is the biggest opportunity for us to recharge our spiritual
batteries and only occurs once each year. How well we energize our
spirit will improve our ability to gain a closer relationship with God
and “make it through” another year. With this in mind, we should
try to get the most out of the Feast. The following are some of the
things that I have found effective in maximizing spiritual energy
during this time.

Start with the requirements originally given to God’s people.
Leviticus 23 tells us the first and the eighth days are sacred and
we are to do no work. This was easier in the past as most of us
took vacation time from work to keep the Feast. Today there are
many electronic devices available to keep us
“connected” to our jobs. Keep the laptops and
Blackberries off during these two days and try
to limit your connection to work during the rest
of the Feast. I have a hard time with this one
and have to constantly remind myself God will
provide. God also instructs us to assemble. This
is extremely important for us as we build our
relationship with God by loving and caring for
one another. Fellowship allows us to continue the
learning and discussion of God, far beyond the
sermons and Bible studies. We build a support
network in addition to allowing God to dwell
with us. “For where two or three come together
in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew
18:20). Meet as many people and fellowship
as often as you can. We are also told to give
offerings to God. He tells us to give freely in
celebration and thanksgiving for our harvest.
Before Jesus became our sacrificial lamb, the
offerings involved animals, grain, oils, and wine.
Today our “harvest” is the money we make from
our work. Tithing places God first and helps us
to remember the One who blesses us with our
bounty.

Prepare

The Feast of Tabernacles requires
preparation. How well we prepare to observe
the Feast will improve our ability to gain the
maximum spiritual energy. To get a glimpse
of what life may have been like during the Old
Testament preparing for the Holy Days, read
Numbers, chapter 28 and 29. Everyone had to
grow their food and raise their meat. There was
a large amount of animals used for offerings
to God. This had to be done while, at the same
time, providing food for your family. The offerings
could deplete your entire stock if you did not
carefully plan the entire year. Imagine the festival
journey with your family and all of the livestock
needed for the Feast! To put it in today’s terms,
make sure your funding is in order and arrange
for your temporary dwelling as early as you can.
I have always found when my arrangements are
made and organized; an excitement builds as we
anticipate the Feast.

Enjoy the Ride

I have always enjoyed my ride to the Feast
site. It is precious to spend time together
traveling to the Feast as a family. In addition
we love sharing in each others’ excitement.
Remember our spiritual ancestors and how
difficult it must have been to gather all the
families, animals, and everything else involved
in observing the Feast. The daily routine in our
lives, along with stress, can take our focus off
the importance of the Feast. Compared to our
ancestors in the Bible, we really do have it easy.
Praise God and enjoy the ride.

Volunteer

Earlier I discussed the requirement to
assemble and the importance of fellowship.
Another way to meet people, learn more about
God, and give of yourself, is to volunteer. I have
met numerous people at the Feast by helping.
The people who plan and organize the Feast
work very hard and there is always a need and
a way to helpful. I assist in our local Sabbath
School and have also participated in the festival
Sabbath School. As we go through the lessons,
I am always amazed at how much of the Bible
I don’t know. Thus, by volunteering, I am also
learning.

Study, Learn, Grow

With sermons every day, Bible studies, and
Infuse services, there are many opportunities
to study God’s Word. Attend as many as you
can while reflecting on your life. Internalize
each message and try to look for ways in
which you can grow or change. Taking some
notes or highlighting scripture can help you to
stay focused and retain the information. Also,
discussing the message afterwards can promote
further understanding in addition to increasing
fellowship.

Rejoice

Enjoy this time with your family as you
keep the Feast. God designed the Feast to be
a celebration and He enjoys the Feast through
our happiness. Remember God is with us always
and shares our joy as we partake in all of our
activities.

Our Batteries Will Keep Going

The Bible often uses the symbolism of
farming to help us understand the importance
of caring for ourselves spiritually. How well we
take care of our spirit will impact our closeness
to God. Think of the Feast of Tabernacles as a
spiritual harvest in which we have an opportunity
to feast upon the Word of God and dwell with
Him. The amount we gain will be the amount we
supercharge our spiritual battery. What we gain
from the world stays with the world and dies with
our physical body. What we gain in our spiritual
battery will stay with us into our immortal bodies.
Jesus tells us the road is narrow, the workers are
few, and He has the key. Get to know Him at the
Feast by plugging in to His energy.

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