Is "God Space" another cute Christian cliché? Or is it something real?
"God space" is real to me, and it was genuine for the man who first introduced me to the term. Dr. Bob, as he was called, was dying of leukemia. He was on his last missionary journey, just a few weeks away from death.
Dr Bob checked himself out of Cedar-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, bought an around-the-world ticket, and was saying goodbye as he made it from one mission-post to another in Asia, India, the Middle East and Europe. We were one of his last stops on the last lap of his life's journey.
Dr Bob sat in a wheel chair, depleted of energy, as he challenged us to live in God Space. "When you get to the end of yourself, the end of your resources and your abilities, then you enter God Space," he said to Sally and me. He was frail, but he was still feisty. He was at the end, but death did not impress him and fear did not hold him.
"Faith doesn't begin until you have to have God come through for you, Floyd." His gaze was steady. He then turned to Sally. "You don't need faith for what you can do, Sally, you need faith for what you cannot do. Then you are living in God Space."
He explained the term further. "God space is living between the end of your resources and abilities and what God wants you to do for Him. That's God space."
At the time we were trusting God to buy the former Salvation Army headquarters in the heart of Amsterdam for an outreach and training center. We were entering God space big time and needed those words of encouragement. A few months later, a friend of Dr Bob's sent a large gift to encourage us. It was the down payment we needed to buy the building. It was sent in memory of Dr Bob Pierce, founder of World Vision and Samaritan's Purse. More importantly to us, our friend. And mentor.
Dr Bob taught us to live in God Space.
I recently received this testimony from someone who chose to take the risk and live in God Space:
I'd like to tell you a story. The day that you came to Muncie, IN. and spoke at Union Chapel last year, something amazing happened. You talked about "God Space." I had a friend who wasn't talking to me anymore, and I missed that person in my life. I decided the day you came to speak to give the situation with that person over to God and let God work in his space. I went home, after Church service, and prayed about it. Then I had this amazing sense of God's presence, and I heard a gentle voice speak to me in my head. It wasn't my thinking voice, it was God speaking to me. Anyhow, God told me to leave my apartment and go out. So, I decided that I'd go out to dinner at Arby's. Well, when I got to Arby's, God spoke again and said that I should go to the grocery store in the same general shopping area. So, I drove around the restaurant and went to the grocery. When I walked into the grocery store......guess who was there. Yep, the friend who I had neither seen nor talked to for months. However, the friend told me to never to talk to them again. So, I walked by them, without saying anything, and I went and bought some items at the grocery store. When I came back to the front of the store, she was still standing talking to someone at the front of the store, but as I was going through the check out she stepped out the door. At that point, I'm wondering why God guided me there? I walked out the store, and it was now raining. I had forgotten an umbrella. So, I started to walk towards my car, and I caught a glimpse of her walking towards her several lines away in the parking lot in totally the opposite direction I was headed. Then....out of nowhere......she turns around, waves at me, and actually runs up to me while sticking an umbrella above my head. We began talking again. God had guided me there that day to reconnect with my friend. Thank you for the sermon on "God space." I definitely needed it.
What challenge are you facing? There is a space, a dimension of life, where you have to have God come through for you to make it, to experience God's grace. I encourage you go there voluntarily. Live there. Rest there. Wait there.
God space is where God loves to come through for us, to meet us in very personal and life-altering ways. It may be in the valley of the shadow, and it may be on a spiritual high... God space does not mean we always get what we want, but it does mean God will be with us. Dr Bob died of leukemia - but he did so in the presence of the Lord, living in that realm of life that meant trusting God for grace to live victoriously. Dr Bob was not perfect, but he lived with passion and zest for the purposes of God. You can as well - if you live in God Space.
Yours from Cape Town – where we are learning new lessons about God Space,
Floyd and Sally McClung
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
I just got this from Floyd McClung, an American missionary working in South Africa. He's one of those people that speaks with such love and truth, such authority and godliness, that I could just sit at his feet and soak up the wisdom.