Why does God need our faith so much?

God doesn’t need our faith; he wants to give us faith, Ephesians 2:8, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”

So it isn’t that God needs our faith, it’s that we need his faith. Faith is still something we humans desperately need – the belief that we are saved purely by God’s grace from being “dead in (our) transgressions” (verse 5) – but God doesn’t require us to create that belief ourselves. It is “because of HIS great love for us” that HE “made us alive with Christ” (verses 4-5), and because of “the incomparable riches of HIS grace, expressed in HIS kindness to us” that “we are seated with him in the heavenly realms” (verses 6-7).

And logically I can read these verses in Ephesians and accept that my salvation is all God’s doing. But do I actually believe it, that my entire life, for now and forever, is (and will be) the product of “GOD’S workmanship” alone, not requiring any works from me (verses 9-10)?

I realize how difficult that is for a human being to do in the relationship I have with my son. My relationship with him is based purely on love, mercy and grace. I don’t need his obedience, his trust, his help at home, his success at school, or his desire to please me, for me to continue loving him and continue extending mercy with his mistakes and foibles. But how does that make him feel? Here he is living with a Dad who loves him, regardless of what he does or doesn’t do. Think of the pressure that must create in his head to do something for me in return, just like the obligation we feel to return a kindness extended to us. It’s our natural reaction.

But God isn’t after our natural reactions. He doesn’t want us loving him out of a sense of obligation, or trusting him because we feel we have to, or feeling we should do something good or loving or kind in return. I don’t want that kind of relationship with my son either. I would rather he accept my love, mercy and grace as a gift, with no pressure on his part to respond. But how do I get him to that point, when it’s so engrained in our heads that love given requires love in return?

I can do it by never giving my son the impression I need anything from him. I don’t need his love or his trust. My only interest is giving him love and trust, because I’ve learnt from God that’s the key to a relationship.

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