“Kierkegaard maintained that faith was higher than reason. This means that reason has its limits and faith begins where those limits of reason are found. This choice of faith is not a one-time thing, according to Kierkegaard. One must make the movements of faith over and over again and constantly re-choose to abandon reason and believe in the impossible.”
Kierkegaard and Faith
I do not pretend to fully (or even moderately) understand Kierkegaard’s take on faith and God. This quote, however, is a handy summation of his most general take on faith, and I went searching for it because my dealings of late reminded me of the necessity to “leap” when reason and logic end. God’s also letting me see with greater clarity that fear and unbelief are two peas in a pod, the Bonnie and Clyde of hell.
Now, Martha has said many times that fear is unbelief. John’s recent posts are hammering home the many forms and names and manifestations of fear and anxiety – and how utterly against God they are. And I find myself looking at my journey with God (by which I mean my whole life) in a new way, as a never-ending series of leaps and stalls.
To believe is to stand on reason’s edge and choose to leap, past what I can see and know, out into the wild adventure of the unknown – into the arms of God Himself. Fear attacks me on the edge of reason, every time and without fail. And I open the door to that snarling wolf, because it always sounds “reasonable.” Of course it does! What do we always say and hear when we’re poised to make the leap? “Listen to reason” or “Let’s be reasonable about this” or “Don’t go off the deep end” or “You sound irrational.” Unbelief and common sense are often in diabolical cahoots, I think.
When I let fear in, my life stalls on the edge of that cliff. It comes to a stop at the literal crossroads that God sets before me – and I must choose. I’m usually already beat up at this point, because I let fear come in and speak kindly to my flesh while poisoning my spirit. Still, there’s the choice in front of me, and I alone must make it. Do I say, “Yes, I believe you, God!” and abandon reason as I leap out? Or do I agree with fear and say, “No, I don’t believe you, God,” and refuse to go any farther?
I have camped out on many a cliff. Oddly enough, my experience there has done a great deal to thwart the enemy’s most pervasive accusation in my life: “You aren’t God’s now and you never really were.” See, God doesn’t let His children go gently into that good death, spooning with fear and bleating about the importance of reason and logic. “Look, all you who kindle a fire, who encircle yourselves with firebrands; walk in the light of your fire and in the firebrands you have lit! This is what you’ll get from My hand: you will lie down in a place of torment” (Is. 50:11 HCSB).
God WILL NOT make my choice for me. He will NOT. But He will use circumstances and people to press me and break me. He loves me enough to give me the full consequences of my “no” to Him – to show me the torment, the desolation of my life without His presence. And to teach me to “Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt. 10:28b).
I choose to believe in Him and then leap out in obedience, over and over again. It is the Cross. My relationship with God, my life with Christ, is a series of leaps. And God catches me and rewards even my most trembling and pitiful leap with His overwhelming Love, because it was a leap toward Him.