What Is God Like?
What does your mind’s eye picture when you consider God and heaven, and where do those images come from? We all have a tendency to think in images, some more so than others. Unless you were blind from birth, you probably think visually to some extent and these descriptions form some kind of image.
Some may say that it doesn’t matter what heaven is like and we will never know God until we die. After all, the descriptions of heaven with gates of pearl, precious stones and “streets of gold” don’t seem to make any sense anyway. So why is there so much emphasis on its appearance? It could be that a place of incredible beauty creates immense appeal. It is also a place that we can relate to when we can’t understand God.
How do you think?
Many people have grown up with thoughts of God and heaven from Bible stories, books, family stories, paintings, other pictures and movies. However, none of us that are alive have been there or seen Him. Except for the visions of people that have had out-of-body experiences in which they have been transported to heaven, there are no eyewitness accounts. However, are physical descriptions of heaven really that important? Are the physical attributes what heaven is all about since God is a Spirit?
We identify with the tangible because that is what our senses perceive. Because of our senses, we can taste and smell and hear and see and touch. The physical world is what is real to us. If you think according to the natural world, you might pay attention to the buildings or the streets when you get to heaven. Some people have a hard time believing in spiritual things that are outside of their ability to sense. But God and heaven both transcend the physical world in which we live.
Where is your attention?
If your imagination of heaven is focused on the physical, take the time to explore the Bible to discover the things that God has revealed to us. Sensing and understanding the spiritual world is what the Bible is all about. Within its pages are revelations of a universe that is truly more real than the one that we physically experience. It is more real than the physical universe because we originated in the spiritual realm.
How do you see and know God? Is He a friend or foe? Do you feel that He condemns you or loves you? Do you have conversations with God? Does He listen when your talk to Him? Do you listen when He talks to you? What will it be like when you first walk in God’s presence? Do you think that you will even see the physical surroundings?
What is your focus?
The Glory of God and Jesus will likely dominate your attention for at least the first half of eternity. Another part will probably be spent just giving praise to Him! What do you suppose you will feel when you look upon Jesus’ face? Will you experience gratitude for the scars that He took for you as you discover them upon His face and hands and body? What part of eternity will be spent thanking Jesus, who paid the price of your admission and redeemed you from your sin?
You will be surrounded by God’s Glory and the love that Jesus has for you. What will your heart feel? Will you dance before Him in joy, or will you stand frozen before Him in awe. Or will your heart feel so humble before Him that you fall to your knees?
How do you speak?
In your life have you been a communicator - a verbal person? Have you been strong with your use of words? What might your mouth utter in His presence? Will you break forth in song, singing Hallelujah to His name or will you even be able to speak at all? Do you dare ponder things for which you are unprepared?
What do you hear?
Leave your thoughts of the physical parts of heaven behind. Turn your heart to what the Spirit of God is saying to you. Release yourself and let your spirit communicate with Him. He will touch your heart in ways that you never thought possible. You will discover that He is not a crutch to fall back upon when things get tough. He will reveal the truth to you that nothing else truly matters but you and Him. When you can get that perspective - looking forward to eternity with God, you can function at your highest level in this earth.
What do you imagine in the stillness of the night?
How do you experience God in your life? Do you have a hard time imagining God in a good way? Do you feel like God is harsh, angry or has abandoned you? Do you see God as oppressive, rejecting and punishing because you have been mistreated? Or maybe you think God is unjust, withholds from you or is just unreliable. Some of these attitudes can come from your own personal experience. Others are instilled through religious traditions.
God’s Word describes Him as merciful, accepting and forgiving. He is also just, giving and trustworthy. If you don’t know God as tender, gentle and nurturing, you may not be seeing the Truth of His Word. However, sometimes, in the text of Biblical accounts, God’s character does not appear to be consistent with these positive attributes. Sometimes this impression comes from our own prejudice and misconceptions.
I invite you to read IDEOLATRY to investigate with me. We will discover some of the ways that God’s true character can be distorted in our minds. In IDEOLATRY, many Biblical accounts are studied to expose God’s Character and reveal the Truth of Who He is.
Join me to explore how you think and what influences your view of God that might not line up with what the Bible is truly saying about Him. In IDEOLATRY you will study the thread of God’s intent for you and your life, and understand the provision that He has made for your success in this life and the life to come.
When you are done, you will not have to imagine, you will know!
Jesus will set you free if you let Him !
I hope my blog posts help you grow in your faith and Biblical understanding. I would like to invite you on a journey of further spiritual growth by purchasing the Ideolatry Book and Study Guide. Together, these tools will give you a strong Biblical foundation when life is difficult to understand.
May the Lord bless you and keep you... Dr. Rich Masek
To learn more about God’s Character and Nature in Ideolatry - God Is Not Your Problem
You can read about more subjects from Ideolatry below.