Most people look up to the sky when thinking of God. There is good reason for this: there are a number of Bible verses which describe how Jesus Christ lifted up His eyes to heaven before speaking to His Father. But what does this mean for “where God is”, in our universe? Does God dwell in one particular place? And if so, where is this place…?
What can we learn from Jesus, about where God is?
Jesus is our primary Source of information, when it comes to God. Because wherever God is, that is where Jesus Himself came from. John 7:29 tells us that Jesus said: “I know Him, for I come from Him, and He sent Me”. In John 6:38, John records Jesus as affirming the same, but with more detail about His ministry: “For I have come down from heaven not to do My will but to do the will of Him who sent Me.”
With the words “…not to do My will,” Jesus underlines that it is God Who deserves the highest and most important place, not just in terms of where He is, but also in relation to our lives and how we relate to Him. God is the most important Being in our universe (Psalm 115:16). The apostle Paul also refers to Jesus’ original dwelling place, in Ephesians 4:8-10.
- So when Jesus wanted to ask God’s help for the feeding of the five thousand, (for example in Luke 9:16, Matthew 14:19 and Mark 6:41) He looked up to heaven.
- When Jesus addressed His Father directly, to petition for His glorification, He lifted up His eyes to heaven (John 17:1).
- Standing in front of Lazarus’ grave, in John 11:41, in the knowledge that the Father had already done what Jesus had asked Him to do – raise Lazarus from the dead – Jesus lifted His eyes.
Jesus’ actions tell us that God is in heaven.
On a side note: the apostle Paul, in 2 Corinthians 12:2-4, informs us that there is not just one heaven, but a “third heaven”!
Is God on earth, as well?
The moment Jesus was conceived, God was on earth. This is referred to as the “incarnation”: the Creator of heaven and earth became flesh. But this was not the first time that God had a presence on Earth.
- Before the first day of creation had even started, the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters (Genesis 1:2).
- In Genesis 3:8, God is presented to us as walking in the garden in the cool of the day, which explains why Adam and Eve (who had just eaten the forbidden fruit!) hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
- Moses met God on Mount Sinai, and indeed, the entire nation of Israel was invited to meet God there, in Exodus 19. God remained with the Israelites as they traveled the wilderness, dwelling in the tabernacle from Exodus 40:34 onward.
- In 1 Kings 19:11-13, Elijah finds God not in the wind, not in an earthquake, and not in a fire, but in a gentle whisper.
It seems that God was “everywhere” and, indeed, He is. God is omnipresent, meaning, He is everywhere. He can even dwell in us, once we have received the Holy Spirit!
Can we see God?
If we can see God, He must “be” somewhere, right? So, this is an important question. When Jesus said: “Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9) He was speaking of God’s nature, rather than of His physical appearance: this verse does not mean that God looks exactly like Jesus incarnated. It is often said that because God is Spirit, He cannot be seen, at all. Yet Exodus 33:20 tells us that God has a face. So, we must conclude that He is not invisible. And the place where He is, is not invisible either, because Revelation 4 tells us of a throne – God’s throne. The Apostle John, writer of the Book of Revelation, describes the One sitting there, and the throne itself. He mentions that there is a door; there are other thrones, there’s something looking like a sea of glass and there are creatures. John is able to see all of this.
Can we use a rocket to travel to God?
Building on the assumption that God is in a visible place, which must be located in heaven, the question arises where this might be. If not between earth and the moon, possibly a bit further afield…? How about, in another galaxy? The truth is, that we have no sat-nav coordinates for God. The place that is described to us in Revelation, and is alluded to in Luke 16 as where the beggar Lazarus and Abraham reside after their deaths, is just as spiritual as God is Himself.
God’s Kingdom is not physical in the same way that we are physical; we cannot touch it, and we cannot travel to it. We cannot look at a map of the planets and stars, pinpoint a location and say: “That’s where He is!” But when Jesus looked up, He established contact with His Father, and that’s how we can direct our prayers to Him, as well: looking up, at nothing in particular, but at the same time, knowing that the Creator of the universe is there, watching over us!
The easiest way to find a place where God might be, is by looking in the mirror. Because if you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and have received the Holy Spirit, you are His temple (1 Corinthians 3:16). The Holy Spirit dwells within every believer in Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him”, Jesus says in John 14:23. That is a very good promise!
In fact, this is why Jesus said that it was better for us if He left, in John 16:7. When Jesus was still on earth, He could only ever be on one place at a time, but the Spirit can potentially indwell every human being alive on earth! After Jesus had returned to heaven, the Holy Spirit arrived in His place, and is available to us all! If you have time, please look up our articles on the Holy Spirit, to read why this is so important…!