I don’t know.

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I don’t know.

Three words that none of us really love to say. At least not in the areas of life where we are expected to have the answers. I am a confident guy and enjoy having the answers, but sometimes I just don’t know. I also think technology has made us lazy in this because we never have to go too long without knowing. We pull out our phones and ask Siri or Google it.

Do you know how many points Michael Jordan averaged in his freshman season at the University of North Carolina?  No? It was 13.5 points per game. I know that is fascinating, but I didn’t know either so I just looked it up. It took me about five seconds.

That stat doesn’t matter, and neither do the other mindless bits of trivia that we just can’t stand not knowing. But what about the areas of life that really do matter? What about knowing God’s plan or purpose for our lives? What about knowing whether you should accept that new job offer or pop the question to that special someone? How can we know exactly what God wants us to do?

Let me just put an idea out there… What if God wants you to follow him even when you aren’t sure? We all say we want to live by faith, but that requires embracing the unknown. That’s just how faith works. Hebrews 11 is all about faith and it shares some essential truths. First, faith is the “substance of things hoped for and evidence of things not seen” (Vs. 1), and second, you cannot please God without living by faith (Vs. 6).

So the only way to follow God is to willingly walk into the unknown. Following God actually requires us to be hoping for something we cannot yet see and moving toward the one who can provide it. The second half of Hebrews 11:6 says, “for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him.”

But Cary, I believe God exists! Yeah, me too, but are we pursuing him in a way that shows that we also believe that he rewards those who seek him? Rewards—What kind of rewards of we talking about here? I think verse 1 offers a glimpse into that: It’s the things we hope for, but do not yet see—It is the unknown.

Living by faith is not optional for a Christian, because that’s what following Jesus requires. In my life I have found God to be faithful, even though he has never once given me all the details in advance. But without fail, as I move, he fills in the blanks. He loves to reward faith like that.

If you don't have any room in your theology for I don't know, then you don't have room for faith. Click To Tweet

Repeat after me: It’s ok to say I don’t know. It’s ok to say I don’t know. Keep saying it until you believe it. I think saying I don’t know is healthy. Primarily because most of the time you don’t, but also because you don’t have to have all the answers or know everything that is going to happen to follow Jesus.

It is not spiritual to feign knowledge. It is not a strike against you to admit you’re just doing the last thing Jesus told you until he gives you more. Saying I don’t know keeps you humble, but it also positions you to walk by faith.

If you don’t have any room in your theology for I don’t know, then you don’t have room for faith. So let me encourage you to embrace the unknown and follow Jesus, because it is not unknown to him. And as we draw near to him, he lights the path, reveals the next step, and makes the unknown known.


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