These Days Are Glory Days

Watch the Glory Days – Session 1

A Word from Max Lucado

Have you ever felt beat up, outcast, disheartened, or dejected? If you have, you are in good company. The Israelites, God’s chosen people, felt like this for forty long years as they wandered in the desert. But then, after four decades of discouragement, hope was on the horizon. God raised up a new leader named Joshua. The people’s time in the wilderness furnace was coming to an end. The land of milk and honey was beckoning.

The Glory Days were there for the taking. They still are for us today. In these six sessions, we will discuss how God brings us out of the difficulties of our past.

How we must let go of our “can’t do” attitude if we want to claim our Promised Land. How we can bring down strongholds and enter into our Glory Days. We will also discuss how God wants us to pray boldly, how we must always choose to believe that He fulfills His promises, and how He promises to not only be with us through the trials of this life but also fight on our behalf.

Expect to be challenged. After all, 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 wilderness wandering to Promised Land living? Your Glory Days await you. I invite you to let these words, this holy declaration, settle deep into your heart as you walk forward into God’s will for your life:

These days are Glory Days.

My past is past,

my future is bright,

God’s promises are true and his Word is sure.

With God as my helper,

I will be all He wants me to be,

do all He wants me to do,

and receive all He wants me to receive.

These are the Glory Days.

I invite you to walk with me from the desert into the Promised Land filled with the presence, power, and glory of the Living God.

The Promised Land — hope, life, passionate faith, fertile relationships. Should these be the exception or the rule? The book of Joshua helps us see the wilderness is not our true home and the Promised Land awaits all those who are ready to enter. Glory Days are just around the corner, just across the river, close enough to touch. So prepare yourself and step forward. Your Glory Days await you.

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Introduction

Do we ask too much of God? Do we desire more than we should? Is God weary of our longings and dreams? In The Weight of Glory, C. S. Lewis responds to these questions this way:

It would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because He cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.

As the people of Israel wandered in the wilderness, they looked back on their time in Egypt with selective memory. Although they had been in slavery, beaten, and oppressed… at least they’d had basic food. After God delivered them from Egypt with a powerful hand, parted the Red Sea, and rained heavenly bread from the sky, they looked over their shoulder and cried,

We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost — also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. — Numbers 11:5

The Israelites stood in the wilderness with the Promised Land ahead of them and Egypt behind them. But instead of dreaming of the Glory Days that awaited in a land flowing with milk and honey, they remembered the cucumbers and onions of Egypt.

It is time to march, run, skip, and press forward. No matter how good things might seem in the rearview mirror, what lies ahead can be better. It is time to dream big, to ask of God with boldness, and to believe that our Glory Days are ahead of us.

We must always choose to believe God fulfills His promises.

Talk About It

Welcome to the first session of Glory Days: Living Your Promised Land Life Now.

If you or any of your fellow group members do not know one another, take some time to introduce yourselves. Then, to get things started, discuss one of the following questions:

  • C. S. Lewis says we can become like children who are content making mud pies in a slum when God offers a holiday by the sea. What are some of the small things we can become entangled in and enamored with that keep us from experiencing the fullness God wants to offer?

or

  • What are some of the good, big, and beautiful things we can receive from God if we open ourselves to the greatness of His love and the wonder of His generosity?

Our Promised Land is not real estate but a real state of the heart and mind.

Video Teaching Notes

As you watch the video teaching segment for session one, use the following outline to record anything that stands out to you.

  • The Great American Immigration period: millions of people boarded boats bound for the hopeful shores of America, a land that spoke of a new hope and new beginning
  • The journey of the Israelites: the highlights and the lowlights
  • The seven years of conquest represented a fresh start and a new season for the Israelites… and we need a fresh start and a new season as well.
  • The book of Joshua dares us to believe the best days of our lives are ahead of us — that God has a Promised Land for us to take.
  • The Promised Land was the third stop on the Hebrew people’s iconic itinerary: first there was Egypt, then the wilderness, and finally Canaan.
  • Each stop represented a state of mind: the Israelites were enslaved to Pharaoh in Egypt, slaves to fear in the wilderness, and finally people of promise in Canaan.
  • Canaan symbolizes the Promised Land life we can have right now — a dream of Promised Land living and our Glory Days.

So many of us are living humdrum lives — as if we, like the Israelites, are stuck in the wilderness — but how would the world change if we marched into our Promised Land?

Video Discussion and Bible Study

Take a few minutes with your group members to discuss what you just watched and explore these concepts in Scripture.

Think of a time when God led you to a new beginning and a fresh start. What would you have missed if you had refused to follow God into this new chapter of life?

We must let go of our “can’t do” attitude if we want to claim our Promised Land.

During this session’s teaching, we saw how the people of God had been through hard times of loss, hurt, and brokenness. Their history was peppered with pain, and their memories often brought tears and shame. Why is it important for us to honestly remember the low points, rebellion, and struggles of God’s people? If we are going to follow God into the Promised Land and experience our Glory Days, why is it essential for us to look back and remember our own pain, loss, and struggles? Pause at this point and spend three or four minutes in silence as a group reflecting on your own life, struggles, rebellion, pain, and loss. Ask God to help you remember where you have come from so you can take delight in what he has prepared for your future.

Read Joshua 21:43-45. This glorious and hope-filled summary comes near the end of Joshua. It is a highlight of the whole history of God’s people. What kind of picture do these verses paint? What could your life look like if these words described the next season of your life?

God promises to not only be with us through the trials of this life but also fight on our behalf. [tweet this]

Israel’s pilgrimage to freedom began in Egypt, continued in the wilderness, and culminated in the Promised Land. Talk as a group about each of these chapters in the journey of God’s people:

Egypt

  • What did God’s people experience?
  • What challenges did they face?
  • How was God present and at work?
  • What lessons did they learn?

The Wilderness

  • What did God’s people experience?
  • What challenges did they face?
  • How was God present and at work?
  • What lessons did they learn?

Canaan (The Promised Land)

  • What did God’s people experience?
  • What challenges did they face?
  • How was God present and at work?
  • What lessons did they learn?

Read Romans 8:37-39, Philippians 4:4-7, and Colossians 3:15-17. The Promised Land is not a physical place but a spiritual space. It is the space in which we live when we understand who Jesus is and who we can become as we follow Him. What do these passages tell us about ourselves and how we should live as we walk with Jesus? What is one way you can walk more closely with Jesus in the coming weeks so you can experience the promises declared in these passages?

Read Exodus 15:22-24, 16:1-3, and 17:1-4. What patterns do you see in the attitudes and words of God’s people? How do we tend to act just like the people of Israel when it comes to facing challenging and difficult life circumstances? What are some of the dangerous consequences of a complaining and negative spirit?

As discussed in the video, we can be out of Egypt, but Egypt’s not out of us! Even when we know Jesus and are set free from our sins, we can still live in bondage. What are some of the ways Christians continue to live as if they are in Egypt (the land of bondage and oppression) even after coming to faith in the Savior? What is one way you see yourself going back to attitudes and actions from your old life? How can your group members pray for you and support you as you seek to walk out of the past and into the Promised Land of God’s goodness, grace, and freedom?

God invites us to enter Canaan, but there is one condition. We must turn our backs on the wilderness.

Read 2 Corinthians 3:16-18. This passage notes a number of things that happen when we follow Jesus and walk with Him into the Glory Days He has prepared for us. Describe what each of these can look like in our lives each day:

  • We see God with unveiled faces…
  • We live in the freedom of the Spirit…
  • We are transferred into Jesus’ image…

What is keeping you from walking out of the desert and into the Promised Land? What will you begin doing, or stop doing, in the coming week so you can move toward God’s plan for your life?

God’s promises outweigh personal problems.

Closing Prayer

Take time as a group to pray in any of the following directions:

  • Thank God for the good and wonderful blessings He gives with such freedom and love.
  • Pray for clarity as you look in the rearview mirror of life and ask God to protect you from idealizing the past.
  • Ask God to show you what wilderness attitudes and behaviors you need to leave behind as you enter into the Promised Land He has prepared for you.
  • Pray for diligence and discipline in reading God’s Word on a daily basis so you can have ever-present encouragement to move forward in your faith.
  • Ask God to make you discontent with simply believing in Jesus and pray you will become more like Jesus in every way.

Our Promised Land isn’t a physical territory; it is a spiritual reality.

Excerpted with permission from Glory Days, Study Guide by Max Lucado, copyright Thomas Nelson.

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Your Turn

Come join the conversation on our blog! We want to hear your answers to Max’s Glory Days questions!

Max Lucado

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 Senior 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 Facebook.com/MaxLucado Instagram.com/MaxLucado Twitter.com/MaxLucado

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