Heaven is God's Character

by Raeleen Whip

One day, just a few short years ago, I was a little girl and I found myself sitting on my bed with sketchbook and pencils at the ready waiting for inspiration to strike. After ruminating for some time about a suitable subject that would allow my fanciful and fertile imagination to play, I struck on the idea of drawing heaven.

So, with topic sorted, I then, with all creative fervency, got busy putting the vision splendid on paper.  If I could see that masterpiece now, I am sure I would realize with sentimental affection, that my naïve vision could easily be mistaken for a childish rendering from a Roald Dahl story, perhaps the world Willie Wonka inhabits at the chocolate factory.

I mean in heaven, to my mind at least, lavender flowers can be orange on top and yellow on the bottom, purple buildings can be all manner of shape and size and would surely be smattered with a good dose of that necessity in many young girl’s creative arsenal, glitter.  Leopards can have bright flower prints instead of spots, can’t they? You get the picture.

Until very recently, I thought that what heaven is like must still be mostly relegated to the sphere of my imagination because apparently, it is beyond our human comprehension. 1 Corinthians 2: 9 says “things which the eye has not seen, and the ear has not heard, and has not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared, made and keeps ready for those who love him”.

So, for all we earthbound ones know, it might technically be a possible that leopard spots are not a thing in that place.

Very recently, we have been discussing the glory and therefore character of God in our home group bible study. Romans 5: 2 has come up.

“Through Him also we have our access by faith into this grace or state of Gods favour, in which we firmly and safely stand. And let us rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God.”

I thought that if I am supposed to be enjoying and experiencing the glory of God, then perhaps it would be worthwhile to get a deeper understanding of what the glory of God actually is.  It doesn’t take too much research to discover that part of God’s glory is the beauty of who He is, the perfection of His character.

Perhaps arm yourself with pencil and paper, attempt to scribe thereon the character of God. Think, omnipotent, available, love, faithful, compassionate, just, holy, honest, forgiving, merciful, wise, all powerful, reliable, for us, creative, sovereign, relational, highest, immortal, unchanging, incomparable, perfect, unsearchable, right and fair, overflowing with loyal perfect love, slow to anger, truthful, affectionate, attentive, this list could take up the next five pages and that would be scratching the surface at best.

Another way to grasp the character of God is to turn those characteristics on their head and instead of asking for a list of what God is, ask what God isn’t?

He isn’t unloving, unavailable, mortal, changeable, unloyal, quick to anger, unfair, without affection, untruthful, without compassion, imperfect and so on. How often are we deceived into thinking that these NOTs are the truth.

As you read the list of His characteristics which is by no means exhaustive and the sum of which are His glory, then be sure to understand this; His character, His glory is WHO HE IS all the time.

So, for example, when He says He loves us, it’s not Him assessing a situation and then choosing to act loving because He judges that will be the very best course of action for a particular person or situation at any given time. It so much more than that, He acts in certain way because He is a certain way. His love for us stems from the fact that His undeniable character is 100% perfect love, 100% of the time so therefore His actions and interactions are always perfectly loving 100% of the time, irrespective of us or anything else for that matter.  

If someone has a choice to do or be something, then equally, it’s all too easy for us to believe they also could choose not to do or be that something if desired. In the ‘choose to do or be’ scenario, there is room for humans to doubt or suspect an error of judgement, or believe a wrong choice could be made, that there could be wavering, particularly when I am not in a good place.  Where does that leave us if the efficacy of God’s good character has some wriggle room in our minds? Doubtful. Lost. Without sure hope. Unsafe. On the other hand, if someone literally is something it means they really cannot ever unbe who they are.  A cat cannot unbe a cat if it is a cat. God cannot unbe God. How safe is that for us? Safe. 100%.

2 Timothy 2:13 says “if we are faithless, He remains faithful, true to His word and His righteous character, for He cannot deny Himself

You could swap out faithful and insert any one of His characteristics into the truth of this verse. He cannot deny any aspects of His righteous character. If He did, He would no longer be God.

How incredulous that we can experience and enjoy His glory, His character in our lives, in our person right now, and then more and more so, as we know Him and let Him weave His character into our own. I am pretty much undone thinking that God earnestly desires that He Himself and His glory reside in frail, flawed human vessels that is you and me and that He made a way for that to happen that we never could.  While this can all start now, there is more. With God there is always more. One fine day, we get to heaven for eternity, now that, is a better story altogether.

So, the word heaven circles us takes us back to the beginning. I had a lightbulb moment about the knowability of heaven as I have been pondering the unchanging character of God.

Here is my reasoning. When I look upon the inexhaustible list of His characteristics, I look at His glory. I look at His glory and understand that heaven is the place that we can experience His glory, to the fullest, because God in all the fullest beauty and splendour of His character reigns supreme there. If this is the case that means that heaven need not be entirely relegated to my imagination, childish or adultish. It is partly more knowable than I previously supposed.

We get to know His character, then we get an idea of heaven albeit it a subdued one.  1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”  The more we know God and Jesus by the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit, the more we will understand what heaven is like.

Try if you can, to imagine a place brimming to overflow, permeated, saturated with and built on every one of His magnificent, glorious characteristics. Go and re read the list and please keep adding to it. Try if you can, to imagine a place where everything that He isn’t, not being there. What a God, what a place!

One day we will know the glory of God in heaven in the fullest of splendour, because we will at last experience Him with unsullied body, heart and mind and we will never want to leave. The glory of His glory and character will never diminish in the slightest for the eternal ages to come and we will never tire of praising Him for it.

For now, we know in part, but then one incomprehensible day we will know in full.  Heaven. Always all that He already has been, is and will always be. Glorious.


Raeleen is a country gal, living in Longreach. She does life with a husband who loves God and perseveres in all things, two soft-souled sons, a most gracious and lovely daughter in law, two hilarious grandchildren, a wonderful church family and community. She loves creativity in most forms, but has a special bent towards photography, pottery, writing short stories and blending photos, fonts and bible verses. What I find myself wanting to do, is to persuade people to shift out of dark places in mind or soul into the light of God's truth and the love of His people where there can be found one of my favourite God words... Freedom... God has invited me to be a part of the leadership and women's ministry team at my local Baptist Church in Longreach.








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