Not everyone organizes his or her life around the basic assumption that a relational God who really exists created all things.
But a lot of us do.
Even folks who back away from church because it seems intrusive or unsatisfying, who dismiss Christians because too many of us seem like hypocrites, who idolize sports teams and pop culture figures rather than Jesus Christ, and who prioritize money, family, good vibrations and the good life ahead of repentant faith – even them, many of them – will still reflexively, instinctively, call on capital-G God for blessings and help.
They may invoke God, blame God, question God, praise God, make requests of God and maybe on occasion even pray to God. They have a gut assumption that He’s there even though they don’t understand or buy into the religion and church thing.
I think most folks “get” God’s existence and honestly hope God is really there (wherever “there” is). It is the work of evangelism to share, explain and strengthen mankind’s confidence that God really is there, that divine love in the person of Jesus Christ really is the central doctrine of the entire Christian faith and that Christ came for all mankind to put us right with God (John 3:16).
Of course, God is there.
But for those who at a basic level “connect” to the fact that God is there and loves us, it is another step up to say, “I love God,” and another step after that to say, “I need God.” But to truly trust God, it is logical to ask: What does God need me for?
Surprisingly and simply enough, the answer is: To praise Him and love Him.
Here’s how it works. And it’s not a transaction; it’s grace.
The purpose of all God’s creation is to glorify Him. Because we are created in God’s own image (Genesis 1:26-27), we are created to be in relationship with God, to love Him, to praise Him, and in that love and praise, to reflect His glory. Jesus Christ is the bearer (“radiance”) of God’s glory (Hebrews 1:3), and the Holy Spirit teaches us to recognize God’s glory (1 Corinthians 2:6-16).
As sinful mankind in a fallen world, coached and cheered on by Satan, we are inclined to glorify ourselves, love ourselves, praise ourselves and try to be all we need unto ourselves. Just understand one thing: God doesn’t need that.