Jesus said, “This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven’…” From that opening line of the Lord’s prayer we can learn much, including that God – our Father – is in heaven.
Heaven is a real place. It is not earth as we know it, where we dwell. It is a different place. The Bible relates to heaven as a place that is up from where we are, but no rocketship – not even a starship – could go high enough to reach the edge of heaven. Exactly where it is, what it is made of and how it relates to where we presently are, is unknowable. That doesn’t mean it is geographically or spatially far away. It just means it is unseen and unreachable by means developed by mankind. It is something we have to understand through eyes of faith. Trying to do so with scientific method is like mining the material physicists call “dark matter” – we simply lack the tools, and nothing we can touch or create out of regular matter is ever going to do the job. But by faith and the revelation of Scripture, we can know quite a bit about heaven.
For starters, it is the abode of God. It is a place He made (Gen 1:1) for Himself. That means that God is greater than heaven, as an earthly father as greater than the house he builds. It means that what happens in heaven is exactly as God wants it to be, as what happens in a man’s house is as he wants it to be. Heaven is where God lives, where God rules, where God is honored as Head over all. In fact, Moses wrote, “Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other.” Heaven the place is heaven the experience because of that – because those who abide in heaven with God are those who live as God designed them to live, and not differently. Like a man who doesn’t put up with an unruly houseguest, God will not permit to have the disobedient in His home.
God is in heaven. That does not necessarily mean that God is restricted to heaven. Not anymore than an earthly man is restricted to his own home. God can come and go from heaven as He sees fit. He can even decide to live elsewhere, and Scripture affords that one day, God our Father will make earth His home. The apostle John prophetically saw that day, “I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
On that day, heaven will be here on earth. But until that day, we will have to be content to know that though He is in heaven, He is still our Father. That while in heaven, He is well able to see, to protect and to provide for His children. That while in heaven, He yet hears our prayers.
God is in heaven, but also with the humble and contrite. Worship Him today.