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Glory Days: Living Your Promised Land Life Now

Glory Days: Living Your Promised Land Life Now

by Max Lucado


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Keep walking. This may be the day your Jericho walls come down.

We all face them. Strongholds with a strong hold on our lives. Roadblocks to our joy. Obstacles in our marriages. Fortresses of fear blocking us from peace. How can we bring down these walls that keep us from the future God promises?

Remember the story of Joshua and the battle of Jericho? Those were some formidable foes and big barriers.

Max Lucado says the book of Joshua is in the bible to remind us of one thing: God Fights For Us! We can overcome, because He has already overcome.

We were not made to stand in the shadow of our walls and quake. We were made to stand on top of Jericho's rubble and conquer. We win, because God's already won.

Need a new battle plan for life? Keep walking, keep believing. These may be your Glory Days.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780849948497
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 09/15/2015
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 922,024
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 the recipient of the 2021 ECPA Pinnacle Award for his outstanding contribution to the publishing industry and society at large. He is America’s bestselling inspirational author with more than 145 million products in print.

Visit his website at

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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



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?



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.


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.
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Table of 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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