In order for a person to stand with confidence with the living God faith is necessary. The Scripture speaks often of trust, love, faith, devotion, righteousness, obedience and holiness as God’s standards for his own people. For example, “I find my delight in your commandments, because I love them. I revere your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes.” (Psalm 119:47-48, NRSV) God wants his human creatures to actually desire to love and serve him and each other. And to do this requires that each person learn how to fulfill God’s commands whole-heartedly. This cannot be done without genuine faith in the living God.
Perhaps this may strike the reader as strange. But I suspect that my experience matches up with that of many people. I recall when I was growing up that faith in God had little relevance to me. Not that I did not believe that God existed—I never seriously considered that to be an option. If anything, God was a Reality that I had to acknowledge even if I did not want to or even if he did not care about me personally. Such was the way I thought and felt about the Divine Being. This was part of the matrix of deception that gripped my mind.
On the positive side, we find in ourselves abilities to imagine, to form ideas and objects that are beautiful and pleasing; to reason and solve problems of all sorts; to feel powerful emotions and develop deep and abiding bonds with other people; to be productive in our work and find satisfaction in helping other people. On the negative side, we find in ourselves the ability to misuse our minds and imaginative powers for self-gratification (thus suppressing truth and reason and driving us into dysfunction and addiction); to feel deep pain because of the betrayal and abuse of others towards us; to discover the dark pervasive grip of fear in us; to know that we have the capacity to inflict great harm on others; to sabotage the blessing of relationships and meaningful work by our own choices and so rob God and others of what we could have given to bless them.