Glory Days: Living Your Promised Land Life Now

Glory Days: Living Your Promised Land Life Now

by Max Lucado

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780849948497
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 09/15/2015
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 550,548
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Since entering the ministry in 1978, Max Lucado has served churches in Miami, Florida; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and San Antonio, Texas. He currently serves as teaching minister of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio. He is America’s bestselling inspirational author with more than 130 million books in print.

Follow his website at MaxLucado.com

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Read an Excerpt

Glory Days

Living Your Promised Land Life Now


By Max Lucado

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2015 Max Lucado
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8499-6519-7



CHAPTER 1

GLORY DAYS


For seven years they were virtually untouchable.

Seven nations conquered. At least thirty-one kings defeated. Approximately ten thousand square miles of choice property claimed.

Seven years of unbridled success.

They were outnumbered but not outpowered. Underequipped but not overwhelmed. They were the unlikely but unquestionable conquerors of some of the most barbaric armies in history. Had the campaign been a prizefight, the referee would have called it in the first round.

The Hebrew people were unstoppable.

They hadn't always been. The Bible doesn't gloss over the checkered history of God's chosen people. Abraham had too many wives. Jacob told too many lies. Esau sold his birthright. Joseph's brothers sold Joseph. Four centuries of Egyptian bondage were followed by forty years of wilderness wandering. Then later, seventy years of Babylonian detention.

The Hebrew people built two temples only to lose them. They were given the ark of the covenant only to lose it. Babylonia built her cities. Greece flexed her muscles. Rome stretched her empire. And Israel? In the schoolroom of ancient societies, she was the kid with the black eye, bullied and beat-up.

Except for those seven years. The Glory Days of Israel. On the time line of your Bible, the era glistens between the difficult days of Exodus and the dark age of the judges. Moses had just died, and the Hebrews were beginning their fifth decade as bedouin in the badlands. And sometime around 1400 BC, God spoke, Joshua listened, and the Glory Days began. The Jordan River opened up. The Jericho walls fell down. The sun stood still, and the kings of Canaan were forced into early retirement. Evil was booted and hope rebooted. By the end of the campaign, the homeless wanderers became hope-filled homesteaders. A nation of shepherds began to quarry a future out of the Canaanite hills. They built farms, villages, and vineyards. The accomplishments were so complete that the historian wrote:

So the Lord gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it. The Lord gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass. (Josh. 21:43–45)


What sweeping statements! "The Lord gave ... all the land." "The Lord gave them rest." "Not a man of all their enemies stood against them." "All came to pass." Winter chill gave way to springtime thaw, and a new season was born.

Perhaps you need a new season as well. You don't need to cross the Jordan River, but you need to get through the week. You aren't facing Jericho, but you are facing rejection or heartache. Canaanites don't stalk you, but disease, discouragement, danger? Rampant. You wonder if you have what it takes to face tomorrow.

You can relate to the deflated little fellow I saw in an airport terminal. He and his family were on summer vacation. At least that's what I Sherlocked from the way they were dressed. Flip-flops, baseball caps, and straw hats. They were beach-bound for a week of sand and sun.

Everything about the dad's expression said, "Hurry up! We have to run if we are going to make the connection!" The concourse was his football field and the departure gate his end zone. He was determined to score a touchdown.

Can the little fellow keep up? I wondered. Mom could. She matched her husband stride for stride. The big brothers could. They hitched their backpacks higher and leaned forward into the draft of their parents.

But the little guy? He was five years old, six at most. His face was resolved, but his legs were so short. It didn't help matters that he was dragging a pint-size Mickey Mouse carry-on bag. Nor did it help that the entire civilized world was jammed into the airport. He tried to match his parents' pace, but he just couldn't.

So he stopped. Right in the middle of the mayhem, he gave up. He plopped his bag on the floor, sat on top of it, and shouted in the direction of his disappearing family, "I can't keep up!"

Can you relate?

Sometimes the challenge is just too much. You want to keep up. You try. It's not that you don't. You just run out of fight. Life has a way of taking the life out of us.

The book of Joshua is in the Bible for such seasons. It dares us to believe our best days are ahead of us. God has a Promised Land for us to take.

The Promised Land was the third stop on the Hebrews' iconic itinerary. Their pilgrimage began in Egypt, continued through the wilderness, and concluded in Canaan. Each land represents a different condition of life. Geography is theology. In Egypt the Hebrews were enslaved to Pharaoh. In the wilderness they were free from Pharaoh but still enslaved to fear. They refused to enter the Promised Land and languished in the desert. Only in Canaan did they discover victory. Egypt, the wilderness, and Canaan. Slaves to Pharaoh, slaves to fear, and, finally, people of the promise.

We too have traveled this itinerary. Egypt represents our days before salvation. We were in bondage to sin. We wore the leg irons of guilt and death. But then came our Deliverer, Jesus Christ. By his grace and in his power, we crossed the Red Sea. He liberated us from the old life and offered a brand-new life in Canaan.

Our Promised Land isn't a physical territory; it is a spiritual reality. It's not real estate but a real state of the heart and mind.

A Promised Land life in which "we are more than conquerors through [Christ] who loved us" (Rom. 8:37).

A life in which "we do not lose heart" (2 Cor. 4:16).

A life in which "[Christ's] love has the first and last word in everything we do" (2 Cor. 5:14 MSG).

A life in which we are "exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation" (2 Cor. 7:4).

A life in which we are "anxious for nothing" (Phil. 4:6), in which we are "praying always" (Eph. 6:18), in which we "do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him" (Col. 3:17).

Canaan is a life defined by grace, refined by challenge, and aligned with a heavenly call. In God's plan, in God's land, we win more often than we lose, forgive as quickly as we are offended, and give as abundantly as we receive. We serve out of our giftedness and delight in our assignments. We may stumble, but we do not collapse. We may struggle, but we defy despair. We boast only in Christ, trust only in God, lean wholly on his power. We enjoy abundant fruit and increasing faith.

Canaan symbolizes the victory we can have today. In spite of what the hymn suggests — "To Canaan's land I'm on my way, where the soul of man never dies" — Canaan is not a metaphor for heaven. The idea is beautiful, but the symbolism doesn't work. Heaven will have no enemies; Canaan had at least seven enemy nations. Heaven will have no battles. Joshua and his men fought at least thirty-one (Josh. 12:9–24). Heaven will be free of stumbles and struggle. Joshua's men weren't. They stumbled and struggled, but their victories far outnumbered their defeats.

Canaan, then, does not represent the life to come. Canaan represents the life we can have now!

God invites us to enter Canaan. There is only one condition. We must turn our backs on the wilderness.

Just as Canaan represents the victorious Christian life, the wilderness represents the defeated Christian life. In the desert the Hebrew people were liberated from Egyptian bondage, but you wouldn't have known it by listening to them. Just three days into their freedom "the people complained against Moses, saying, 'What shall we drink?'" (Ex. 15:24).

A few more days passed, and "the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness ... 'Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt ... For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger'" (16:2–3).

"The people contended with Moses" (17:2), and "the people complained against Moses" (v. 3). They inhaled anxiety like oxygen. They bellyached to the point that Moses prayed, "What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me!" (v. 4).

How did the Hebrews descend to this point? It wasn't for the lack of miracles. They saw God's power in high definition. They watched locusts gobble crops, boils devour skin, flies buzz through Pharaoh's court. God turned the chest-thumping Egyptians into shark bait right before the Hebrews' eyes. But when God called them to cross over into Canaan, the twelve spies returned, and all but two said the mission was impossible. The giants were too big for them. "We were like grasshoppers," they said (Num. 13:33). We were tiny, tiny bugs. They will squash us.

So God gave them time to think it over. He put the entire nation in time-out for nearly forty years. They walked in circles. They ate the same food every day. Life was an endless routine of the same rocks, lizards, and snakes. Victories were scarce. Progress was slow. They were saved but not strong. Redeemed but not released. Saved from Pharaoh but stuck in the desert. Redeemed but locked in a routine. Monotonous. Dull. Ho-hum, humdrum. Four decades of tedium.

Sounds miserable.

It might sound familiar.

I sat across the lunch table today from a man in midlife misery. He described his life with words like stuck, rut, and stalled out. He's a Christian. He can tell you the day he escaped Egypt. But he can't tell you the last time he defeated a temptation or experienced an answered prayer. Twenty years into his faith he fights the same battles he was fighting the day he came to Christ. He's out of Egypt, but Egypt's not out of him.

He didn't say the words, but I could sense the sentiment: "I thought the Christian life would be better than this." He feels disengaged and discouraged. It's as if the door to spiritual growth has a lock and everyone has the key but him. He doesn't know whom to blame. Himself? The church? God? He doesn't know what to do. Change congregations? Change Bible translations? Slow down and reflect? Get busy and work?

My friend is not alone in the wilderness. The REVEAL Research Project went on a search for Joshuas. Beginning in 2007 they surveyed the members of more than a thousand churches. They wanted to determine the percentage of churchgoers who are actually propelled by their faith to love God and love others with their whole hearts. How many Christians would describe their days as Glory Days?

The answer? Eleven percent.

Eleven percent! Nearly nine out of ten believers, in other words, languish in the wilderness. Saved? Yes. Empowered? No. They waste away in the worst of ways — in the Land of In-Between. Out of Egypt but not yet in Canaan.

Eleven percent! If a high school graduated only 11 percent of its students, if a hospital healed only 11 percent of its patients, if a baseball team won only 11 percent of its games, if a home builder completed only 11 percent of his projects, wouldn't changes be made?

The church has a serious deficiency.

We also have a wonderful opportunity. About 2.2 billion people on our planet call themselves Christians. That is approximately one-third of the world's population. If the survey is any indication, about 2 billion of those Christians are chugging along on a fraction of their horsepower. Such sluggishness can only lead to weak churches and halfhearted ministries. What would happen if they got a tune-up? How would the world be different if 2 billion people came out of the wilderness? How much joy would be unleashed into the atmosphere? How much wisdom would be quarried and shared? How many marriages would be saved? How many wars would be prevented? How much hunger would be eliminated? How many orphanages would be built? How many orphanages would we need? If every Christian began to live the Promised Land life, how would the world be different?

If you began to live the Promised Land life, how would you be different? Do you sense a disconnect between the promises of the Bible and the reality of your life? Jesus offers abundant joy. Yet you live with oppressive grief. The Epistles speak of grace. You shoulder such guilt. We are "more than conquerors" (Rom. 8:37) yet are commonly conquered by temptations or weaknesses.

Caught in the land between Egypt and Canaan.

Think about the Christian you want to be. What qualities do you want to have? More compassion? More conviction? More courage? What attitudes do you want to discontinue? Greed? Guilt? Endless negativity? A critical spirit?

Here is the good news. You can. With God's help you can close the gap between the person you are and the person you want to be, indeed, the person God made you to be. You can live "from glory to glory" (2 Cor. 3:18). The walls of Jericho are already condemned. The giants are already on the run. The deed to your new life in Canaan has already been signed. It just falls to you to possess the land.

Joshua and his men did this. They went from dry land to the Promised Land, from manna to feasts, from arid deserts to fertile fields. They inherited their inheritance. Their epitaph deserves a second reading.

So the Lord gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it. The Lord gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass. (Josh. 21:43–45)

Personalize that promise. Put your name in the blanks.

The Lord gave to __________ all the life he had sworn to give. And __________ took possession of it and dwelt in it. The Lord gave __________ rest all around and not an enemy stood. Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to __________. All came to pass.

This is God's vision for your life. Imagine the thought. You at full throttle. You as you were intended. You as victor over the Jerichos and giants.

You and your Promised Land life.

It is yours for the taking.

Expect to be challenged. The enemy won't go down without a fight. But expect great progress. Life is different on the west side of the Jordan. Breakthroughs outnumber breakdowns. God's promises outweigh personal problems. Victory becomes, dare we imagine, a way of life. Isn't it time for you to change your mailing address from the wilderness to the Promised Land? Your Glory Days await you.

Ready to march?

CHAPTER 2

INHERIT YOUR INHERITANCE

Joshua 1:1–6


The time has come to attack the disease. It has raged, untouched, too long. Infected, unhindered, too many. Misery bobs in its wake. Abandoned dreams, ravaged marriages, truncated hopes. Hasn't the malady contaminated enough lives?

Time to declare war on the pestilence that goes by the name "I can't."

It attacks our self-control: "I can't resist the bottle." Careers: "I can't keep a job." Marriages: "I can't forgive." Our faith: "I can't believe God cares for me."

"I can't." The phrase loiters on the corner of Discouragement and Despair. Had Joshua mumbled those words, who would have blamed him? His book begins with bad news: "After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord" (Josh. 1:1).

There was no one like Moses. When the Hebrew people were enslaved, Moses confronted Pharaoh. When the Red Sea raged, Moses prayed for help. When the ex-slaves were hungry, thirsty, or confused, Moses intervened, and God provided food, water, and the Ten Commandments. Moses meant more to the Hebrews than Queen Victoria, Napoleon, and Alexander the Great meant to their people. Even George Washington shares Mount Rushmore with three other presidents. If Moses' face were carved into Mount Sinai, the Hebrews would never let another share the honor with him. To lose Moses was to lose the cause.

And they lost him. Moses died.

Oh, the dismay, the grief, the fear. And yet, with the grass yet to grow over Moses' grave, God told Joshua, "Moses ... is dead. Now therefore, arise" (v. 2).

We would take a different tack. "Moses is dead. Now therefore, grieve ... retreat ... reorganize ... find a therapist." But God said, "Now therefore, arise."

Already we are getting hints of a major theme in Joshua: God's power alters the score. Moses may be dead, but God is alive. The leader has passed, but the Leader lives on.

Even so, Joshua had reason to say "I can't." Two million reasons. According to a census in the book of Numbers, there were 601,730 men aged twenty and older, not counting the Levites, who crossed into Canaan. Assuming that two-thirds of these men had a wife and three children, the number was about two million Hebrews. Joshua was not leading a Boy Scout troop through Canaan. This population was the size of the city of Houston.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Glory Days by Max Lucado. Copyright © 2015 Max Lucado. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgments, xi,
1. Glory Days, 1,
2. Inherit Your Inheritance, 13,
3. Take Heed to the Voice you Heed, 25,
4. It's Okay If You're Not Okay, 37,
5. Unpack your Bags, 47,
6. Don't forget to remember, 57,
7. Call on your Commander, 69,
8. Walk Circles around Jericho, 81,
9. Don't Trust stuff, 93,
10. No Failure Is Fatal, 105,
11. Voices, Choices, and Consequences, 115,
12. Pray audacious Prayers, 127,
13. You Be You, 139,
14. The God-Drenched Mind, 149,
15. No Falling Words, 161,
16. God Fights For You, 171,
Afterword, 183,
Notes, 188,
Questions for reflection, 193,

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Glory Days: Living Your Promised Land Life Now 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read this book over and over it is so uplifting and encouraging. One of my favorites by Max Lucado.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Here
KimTeamer More than 1 year ago
What a powerful encouragement this book was to me. I absolutely loved it. It spoke well of God, and it soothed my heart in such a way that I was fortified. Glory Days provided Biblical content, as well as shared relevant messages for present-day living. I most appreciated the approach that the author took with this book. He combined Scriptural truths with stories about ordinary, extraordinary people. That spoke volumes. As a reader, I was able to enter into the journey of God’s people and experience, in a sense, what they did or rather what they were called to do. In doing this, I was able to walk away from this book with countless nuggets of truth and inspiration. As a student of the Bible, I was able to read the book of Joshua with fresh eyes and with a fresh perspective. This book contained two very special additions that I appreciated – a study guide and a preview to Lucado’s brand new daily devotional that is due out in December. The study guide was filled with questions and considerations related to the book’s content. It was very thorough and thought provoking. The devotional seemed to be a compilation of some of Lucado’s past works. The way the devotional was formatted was very appealing, and it made me want to read more.
mrsrfrank More than 1 year ago
Max Lucado has written thirty-two books now according to his website. I have to admit, I haven’t read all thirty-two but out of the few I have read Glory Days: Living your promised land life now is my very favorite. One of the reasons is because the book actually takes you all the way from the beginning of the book of Joshua {in the Bible} to the end. I didn’t have a clue about this awesomeness until I opened it up to the second chapter “Inherit Your Inheritance” and there below it was “Joshua 1:1-6”. I learned so much about the chapter of Joshua by reading Glory Days. Max told the stories throughout the book of Joshua, and he also used his own unique way of explaining the lessons behind them. His way of writing makes learning God’s word so easy and relatable. I had so many underlines in this book! I truly enjoyed reading it. It was one of those books I took every extra minute to dive back into it, because it was so good and such an easy read. There are sixteen chapters and they are relatively short which made it easy to read a little here and there without really disturbing the entirety of the message. The other thing I loved, was in the back of the book were questions for reflection on each chapter and also a prayer. I think this makes the message much more impactful when the author offers this type of added format. I really recommend Glory Days to anyone, but especially Christians who feel like they aren’t “getting anywhere” with their faith. You’ll be inspired to read Joshua, and also to start living out the promises God has given us.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the best books I have ever read. This is such an uplifting book. True to Max Lucado’s style of writing, this book encourages and gives you great tips on how to get out of the wilderness life. I’ve personally call it the equalavient to Joyce Meyer’s Battlefield of the Mind. It goes the book of Joshua and how the Hebrews overcame the Perizzites, Hititites, Canaanites, and Amorites. They struck the fear in the hearts of the Hebrews. This book came at the right time in my life. I was struck my fear in my life and it helped me overcome. This book will teach you how to live your life outside of the fear and begin to live life to the fullest. I am very glad I read this book and recommend it to all of my readers. To make the better book even better, it has a study guide in the back that goes along perfect.
Julie12 More than 1 year ago
This is another great book by Max Lucado! This book focuses on the book of Joshua and about the Hebrews wandering in the desert when they could have been in their glory land. Even if you're familiar with this story, the way Max Lucado writes about it brings it alive. He shares practical Scriptures with us and gives us the tools to live a more fulfilling, joy filled Christian life and walk. If you're going through a hard time - a wilderness - he shares how we can make a u-turn and find freedom even thought the hardships. We need to remember that we are a child of God and that He loves us unconditionally. He doesn't want us to stay stuck in the wilderness. This book was really life changing for me. I highlighted it throughout and want to read it again and again. Yes, some of it I already knew - like how important it is to read our Bible and pray - but the way Max Lucado writes gives you a deeper desire to know God and to get out of the wilderness you're in. I highly recommend this book. I enjoyed it very much and learned a tremendous amount. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.