Section 1—Where is God?

I remember many years ago asking a group of young teenagers to draw me a picture of God. I got the usual expected response for 1966. The most popular concept was an old man with a long white beard sitting on a cloud. Others had drawn various images of ghost-like figures surrounded by mist, fire, colours, shafts of light etc.

One young lady presented me with a blank piece of paper, her response to my enquiry was “you can’t see God, so there’s nothing there”. A wonderful starting point to the question “where is God”.

Much of our Church thinking is based on the perception of “God out There”. Prayers are addressed to a God outside ourselves. We metaphorically turn our eyes and thoughts upwards (heavenwards) when beseeching God to intervene in our lives and “work his magic”. Hold on to these thoughts as we begin a closer examination as to the presence of God!

God in Nature

In the beginning…the first three words of the bible and a good place to start when thinking about God in nature.

Genesis Chapter One gives us one narrative of biblical creation. But…in spite of the advances in knowledge and understanding some people still insist on believing, and promoting, the “creation story”.

What are our honest opinions?

Are we afraid of embracing Darwin and his Origin of the Species—for fear of being labelled a heretic!

Here are some searching questions that require honest answers…

  • Is our God a God of creation?
  • Did God really create the universe in six days?
  • Did God just create the good things and the bad things are an act of nature (or an act of God for insurance purposes)?

Many Christians like to think they can see God in nature. They can marvel at the majesty of the hills, the beauty of trees and flowers, the power of the sea, the beauty of a sunrise or sunset, and many other images we can conjure up in our minds eye.

Nature can offer us wonder, solitude, spiritual refreshment etc. The idea of God in all of this is not a bad one but how does this image of God as a benevolent creator stand examination when we are faced with natural disasters on an enormous scale! Tsunami, volcanic eruptions, tornadoes and other causes of devastation?

It is impossible to deny that the universe is fuelled by some tremendous power, but to attribute that power to God is, in my mind, taking it a step too far.

I do not understand the theory of the “black hole” or “splitting the atom” or other advanced knowledge in the fields of science, physics or other scientific disciplines, however, history and experience has taught me that many workings of this amazing universe are purely random. Without wishing to sound facetious, if God is behind it all then He/She has a very warped sense of humour!

God in Space

We cannot begin to examine the idea of God in Space without exploring the theory of “heaven”. Even in this 21st century we still have countless Christians, lay and ordained, who continue to think of heaven as “a place” rather than “a state of mind”. If the idea of heaven as “a place” persists then we have to give it a location! Back to the young person’s idea of the old man sitting on a cloud above the bright blue sky!

I would like you to hold these thoughts for a moment and examine them again further into our study when we address the question of “Who is Jesus”?

However before we move our thinking to embrace the person of Jesus I would feel neglectful if I failed to make reference to the Old Testament.

God in History

Many years ago I was asked to mentor a young man wanting to become a Methodist Local Preacher. He was a delightful young man, open and enthusiastic, and having spent two years at Bible School was ready to change the world single-handed!

As a (sometimes disillusioned) preacher of some years standing I revelled in his enthusiasm and delighted in his energy and dedication. Sadly it didn’t take long for me to realise he was an Old Testament scholar (a historical Christian) who had not yet experienced a living faith through Jesus Christ.

In my opinion (please don’t shoot on sight!) while there are some good stories contained in the Old Testament, we need to acknowledge it is a history book of the Jews, filled with traditions, myths and fables as well as family feuds, jealousy, corruption, elitism, wars and revenge! You may detect that personally I am not a fan!

When anyone starts quoting the Old Testament as a definitive law, whether it be on homosexuality, marriage, divorce, or any other commandment, it is, in my opinion, for the control of the population and not the salvation of the individual.


  • Where do you see God?
  • Do you envisage God “out there”?
  • How would you describe God?

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You can find the next section of this study here.