The Israelites sure did. After all, they spent forty years wandering the desert. Victories were scarce. Progress was slow. They were free from Pharaoh but not free from fear. Saved but stuck.
Sounds a lot like midlife misery. Caught in a rut. Stalled out. Running on empty. Are you mired in the same?
You can name the day you became a Christian and escaped Egypt. But you can’t remember the last time you defeated a temptation or experienced an answered prayer. You’re fighting the same battles you fought the day you came to Christ. You’re out of Egypt, but Egypt’s not out of you.
Isn’t the Christian life supposed to be better than this?
Jesus offers abundant joy. Yet you live with oppressive grief. The epistles speak of grace. You shoulder guilt. You are more than a conqueror yet are commonly conquered by temptation or weaknesses.
But there’s good news. With God’s help you can close the gap between the person you are and the person you want to be. Like Joshua and the Israelites, you can move from a wilderness existence into a promised inheritance.
This is God’s vision for your life. You, at full throttle. You, as you were intended. You, as victor over the Jerichos and giants. You, minus the stumbles, hurts, and hate.
You and your Promised Land life.
First… let me tell you about Max Lucado.
Each time I pick up a new Max Lucado book to read, I find myself pausing for a moment before I crack open the pages. Why? Because I know that something – some word, some phrase, some truth – contained in those pages will linger in my heart for the rest of my life, God-willing. How do I know this? Because it’s happened every single time.
From Six Hours One Friday, it was the Samaritan woman’s forgotten water jar, her left-behind burden. It was also the story of the European countess who wanted her sealed-forever tomb to serve as a mockery to the resurrection. The stone cover of her grave now rests against the trunk of a very determined tree, everything that had been put in place to seal the grave now displaced and useless.
In He Still Moves Stones, the gallery of bruised reeds and smoldering wicks remains my favorite art exhibit.
In the Grip of Grace – the whole concept of grace and what that really means in my life still sings in my soul.
Just Like Jesus – my copy falls open to the section about Frank Laubach’s journal; to fall asleep in Jesus’ arms and awaken in His presence became my heart’s cry. In fact, I can still picture myself in my college dorm room, senior year, 1998, poring over that chapter yet again and ingesting the words like water quenching my spirit’s thirst.
When Christ Comes taught me not to bemoan the burial of the seed, a quote my husband and I still voice while pointing our fingers goodnaturedly in each other’s faces. (You’ll just have to read the book.)
Come Thirsty sobered me with this truth – “Spend a life telling God to leave you alone, and He will“.
In Next Door Savior, another heart’s cry – “Discipleship is sometimes defined by being normal”, not lowering standards but not saddling high horses… sometimes just holding a baby.
A book God used to help set me free? Fearless.
There are more Max Lucado books on my shelves than any others by a single author. In fact, my husband jokes that Max is my patron saint… if we were Catholic and/or if that’s how patron saints worked, I’d say he’s probably right. Why? What has resonated so strongly with me about this particular author? Max Lucado’s books weave together so-simple-it’s-deep spiritual truth with practical life application and wrap them all up in a poetic prose that will speak the language of your soul.
And that brings us to Glory Days.
Basically, Glory Days is a deeper look at the Old Testament book of Joshua as it applies to our lives as New Testament followers of Jesus. Some of the truths in here will do a Gibbs-slap on your spirit (any NCIS fans in the house?). Some of the truths will refresh a battle-weary soul. All of the truths are timely and imperative for the times in which we live. Full of Bible verses to encourage and empower, Glory Days would be perfect for a small group discussion study. As I read the book for this review, I ended up reading portions from just about every chapter to my husband – which prompted a spontaneous prayer time for the two of us together.
Max Lucado knows what makes people tick, what keeps us from living in our spiritual Promised Lands. He gets to the heart of the problem and provides practical, Biblical solutions that can empower us to live in our Glory Days, to live out of our inheritance, to fight from victory not for it. And boy, do we need some of that! According to a study that Lucado mentions, nearly 9 out of 10 Jesus-followers are stuck in the wilderness, living in defeat. That’s about 2 billion of the 2.2 billion people alive today that call themselves Christians, around a third of the world’s population. Can you imagine what it would look like if 2 billion people suddenly started living a spiritual Promised Land life??!??
Men and women would turn off Internet porn. The lonely would find comfort in God, not the arms of strangers. Struggling couples would spend more time in prayer, less time in anger. Children would consider it a blessing to care for their aging parents.
And that’s just for a start.
Can you imagine what it would look like if you suddenly started living out of your spiritual inheritance? If you remembered that He has blessed you with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ (Eph 1:3). If there was no longer an apparent disconnect between God’s promises and your reality. Reading Glory Days will be a wonderful place to start.
I found particularly meaningful the chapters on “Don’t Forget to Remember”, “Pray Audacious Prayers”, and “You Be You”. Very relatable themes with extremely practical application. You will definitely know what to do with what you’ve read by the time you finish Glory Days.
Oh… and the truth that will stick with me from Glory Days? Well, as you might expect, there are several but this one in particular – “Consult God in everything…Call on God for great things.”
Bottom Line: If you feel restless or dry as a Jesus-follower, you need to read Glory Days. The stories (both Biblical and illustrative) will not only encourage you but will also serve as signposts along the journey toward your spiritual Promised Land. This would make a wonderful small group study or devotional aid as well.
I give Glory Days 5 out of 5 stars!
(I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for only my honest review.)
Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1DH3Tku
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More than 120 million readers have found comfort in the writings of Max Lucado. He ministers at the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Denalyn, and a sweet but misbehaving mutt, Andy.