The Man Upstairs

The Man Upstairs

What do you think God is like?

The man upstairs? An old man in the skies?

A kind old person or a tyrant? But would a god like that ever really be able to help?

Actually God is not like anyone we’ve ever met. He’s not like us, only stronger, fitter, and harder working.

This video unpacks some of the amazing things the Bible says about what God is like. He’s eternal, perfect in every way, he never flies of the handle, he’s completely powerful and he knows everything yet he never gives up loving! Amazing!

Possible discussion questions

How do you imagine God? And why?

Do you ever think of God like some old man in the clouds…do you think thats good news?


When you hear someone talk about God what do you think he’s like? Do you ever hear people talk about him as the man upstairs? Maybe you see God as an old man who lives in the sky like a Granda or Santa Claus. You keep them at arm’s length, only turning to him in emergency’s when there’s nowhere else to go you.

You imagine that God smiles on you when you do good things and frowns on you when you do bad things. Is God a kind old person in the sky or a tyrant who canes you when you make a mess? If God is like this, just an old man who lived in the clouds how would that be good news? 
If you imagine God like that, would you ever really trust him? Why would you think he might be able to help you when you turn to him in those real emergencies? When you cry out “Oh god help me” when things aren’t going the way you hoped they would.

We need to be careful how we think of God, and where our picture of him comes from. Just because your granny talked about God as the man upstairs doesn’t mean that that’s what he’s like. If we want to know what God is really like we need to let him speak for himself. In the Bible God tells us and shows us just what he’s like.

God is the one who owns everything, because he’s made everything. He’s the one who made the clouds, the one who made the sky, the sun and everything that there is, including you and me, he made it all out of nothing. 
He just said the word and everything came to be. How impressive is that, I mean if you wanted to make something you need stuff to make it. If you want to make a fence you need wood, nails, hammers, saws. You want to make a cake you need flour, water, sugar, butter a whole heap of stuff. We’re so limited by what we have, by who we know, by all sorts of things, but he is not.

You see God is not like anyone you’ve ever met. He’s not like us only stronger, fitter, harder working. God has always been around but that doesn’t make him old. He’s not just better than we are, he’s perfect in every way.

God never changes, he never sleeps, he never flies off the handle.
He knows everything, he’s completely powerful and yet he never gives up loving. These are just some of the things that God tells us about himself.
The truth is we can never really take in all that he is.

God is too amazing for that. Yet still the Bible tells us that we can know him and be known by him. So God is certainly not just a helpless old man sitting on a cloud at our beck and call. Waiting for nice people in church to sing to him to pray to him and then when they do he gives them the stuff that they want.

A God like that is no use to anyone. Have you been under estimating God because you think of him like he’s some old man who lives in the sky.

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West Kirk, Presbyterian Church

Video created by: West Kirk, Presbyterian Church

West Kirk is a Presbyterian Church on the heart of the Shankill Road in Belfast.

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