In-Sight: The Primacy of Revelation

The Bible has always been my primary means of grace, more so than any other spiritual discipline.  I can lose track of time while “searching the scriptures.”  Like a benevolent black hole, the Bible pulls me into itself, and sometimes I have trouble getting out of it.

Honestly, this has set the stage for an imbalanced spirituality.  It helped some to realize that lectio divina is a form of prayer, but I have still had to work at not neglecting a full-orbed devotional life.  The instituted (piety/inward) and prudential (mercy/outward) means of grace are all necessary.

But despite the temptation to imbalance, I am grateful for the priority of Scripture.  It stands as a reminder of the primacy or revelation.  God always speaks the first word; my life is a response to revelation.

Often this comes as I read the Bible.  But it can also come through reading good literature, through a conversation, through contemplation, or through some blessing given me by nature.  In these ways, and more, I am taught that revelation is always first.  And even though I still have to guard against imbalance, the primacy of revelation puts things in the order God wills for my life.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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