Do You Have to Know?

Do you like to know? Do you want to be right? Do you want to feel sure?

Yes, yes, and yes.

I want to know that what I believe is 100% right and true and confirmable.

But it’s not.

Excuse my repetitiveness, but it’s my year of paying attention to Mystery.

Because the desire to know doesn’t go away. And the quest for certainty can morph into an idol.

The problem is trusting our beliefs rather than trusting God.

Thinking we have to have all the answers is unrealistic. We all have to live with levels of uncertainty. About our lives, about ourselves, and even about our God.

We can’t know it all. Because God hasn’t revealed all of it. And we couldn’t understand if it he did.

Peter Enns says,

“The deeper problem here is the unspoken need for our thinking about God to be right in order to have a joyful, freeing, healing, and meaningful faith. The problem is trusting our beliefs rather than trusting God.”

I have to swap knowing for trusting.

Not trusting my beliefs. But trusting God.

 “Maybe knowing, as I had been taught to know, is overrated. Knowing like that doesn’t last. Knowing has its place, definitely, but not at the center of faith. And then for me, the bottom line: I can choose to trust God with childlike trust regardless of how certain I might feel.”

So here we wait. With imperfect knowledge. Imperfect understanding.

And we become okay with that.

We still strive to learn and know and understand.

But we don’t bet our lives on our own understanding. We throw ourselves on God’s mercy instead. His mercy with our errors and misunderstandings.

“When we learn that it is okay to let go of the need to be right—that God is not going to pounce on us from behind the corner and give us a whipping but actually welcomes this step of faith—only then will the debilitating stress of holding on to correct thinking begin to fade.”

We don’t have to know. But we definitely benefit by trusting.

  • Trust God, not our version of God.
  • Trust Truth will be revealed as we need it.
  • Trust the process will unfold as he plans it.

Take one step at a time. One situation at a time. One breath at a time.

A greater faith in God, not in my ideas about God, remains a mystery.

But what it unveils is a grace even greater.

* * *

Please share your thoughts in the comments.

36 thoughts on “Do You Have to Know?

  1. Pam Ecrement

    Well done, Lisa! These are definitely thoughts and understandings to mull over and chew on more than once or twice. You have persuaded me this book needs to be added to me list! ❤️

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m grateful for books that make me return to them again and again. I imagine I’ll keep this one with me for awhile because I do need these same lessons over and over. Blessings to you, Pam.

  2. Lesley

    I remember thinking this book sounded interesting when you shared about it before but now it is definitely on my to-read list! I think that’s a great point that it is easy to fall into trusting our own beliefs and understanding rather than trusting God. I love the quotes you shared!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I had tons more quotes I’d love to share. But I had to stop somewhere. 🙂 Some of it has to be read in context, too. If you do get to read it, let me know what you think.

  3. bill (cycleguy)

    I used to think I had or needed to know it all. Now I realize that thinking is garbage. Sometimes I have more questions than answers. LOL I want to know what I believe on the non-negotiables. But on the others I want to continue to learn.

  4. Debbie

    Well written Lisa! I certainly don’t have all the answers but I would like to have them. 🙂 But I know through faith the important stuff; like salvation. One day, we will have the answers but then I’m not so sure they will be that important. When I’m face to face with Jesus all else will fall away.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, there are so many things I think I will want answers to, also. But once we’re actually in the full presence of God, I agree that they’ll likely fade away to unimportance!

  5. Bethany

    Since one of my life refrains is “I want to know!” this concept of the sin of certainty is striking. Going to be chewing on this one….thanks, Lisa!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m so drawn to knowledge too, Bethany. The more information, the better, right? 🙂 So the sin of certainty really struck a nerve with me as well. God continues to work with me on it….

  6. Alice V Walters

    Dear Lisa, it’s a trap, isn’t it, and one we can fall into so easily. I have to be on guard to constantly remind myself, “Jesus loves me, THIS I know “. When everything else gets crazy or unsure, that’s really all we need to know and trust. Thank you for the gentle reminder/affirmation.

  7. Joanne Viola

    So true, Lisa. It surely is a trap and with so much information now at our hands, I think we have come to demand to know more and more immediately. But God’s ways will often remain a mystery for it is the way He reminds us – He is God and He is sovereign. Grateful for the reminder this morning!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      The internet can certainly drown us with all its information. There’s no way to even learn all the things that other people know, and certainly never any way to learn all the things God knows. We have to draw the line somewhere! 🙂 Thanks, Joanne. I want to stay away from the trap as much as possible.

  8. Melody

    I struggle with finding security in knowing things as well – to a fault. I see this in the amount of questions I pepper my kids with over a simple phone call home to wanting to have calendars mapped out months in advance and getting upset with changes. But I’m growing in these things and learning to trust our fully sovereign God who has these things under his control. I feel better when I release the having to know to simply trusting in him who knows all things.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I totally relate to what you’re saying, Melody. I feel more secure when I can map out my plans and schedules, but I know that true security doesn’t rely in my fragile plans. Trusting God really is the better way. I’m slowly getting there too!

  9. Dolly Lee


    Yes, learning along with you to embrace the mystery and learning to trust…such a process…and yes, Grace…so grateful for God’s grace…blessings to you 🙂

  10. Sherry Stahl

    My spiritual gifting is teaching. It’s in me to search out the truth. I just have to watch that I’m not acting like a dog on the bone while searching. Thanks for sharing about this book. It sounds so good. Hope you’re having a blessed summer 🙂
    ~Sherry Stahl

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Ha. Like a dog on a bone is how I can get too, Sherry. Even with simple things, like last night as I was looking up the number of my voting district. 🙂 It’s definitely good that we desire knowledge, but yes, we have to watch out for overdoing it.

  11. Deb Wolf

    Amen, Lisa! Rev and I talk about this often. If it’s an absolute … God made it very clear in Scripture. The rest is trusting that He knows, He loves, and we are safe in Him. I feel like I know so little but oh, to rest secure in the One who knows it all! Blessings! I love this!

  12. Gayl

    “A greater faith in God, not in my ideas about God, remains a mystery.
    But what it unveils is a grace even greater.” Yes, our ideas can change but God is always the same and He is faithful and true. Blessings to you, Lisa! Thanks for linking up your thoughts with us at the #LMMLinkup.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Aren’t we blessed that God doesn’t change? Life is complicated enough as it is. 🙂 But at least we can count on his faithfulness no matter what. Thanks, Gayl.

  13. Maree Dee

    Learning to trust is a journey for sure. I find I trust in the big things but tend to take control in the small things. I know God wants our trust in all. Thank you for sharing with Grace & Truth Christian Link-Up.


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