Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
We all have values that shape how we behave and what’s important to us. Values shape where you want to work, shop, live, and who you want to be in relationship with. But something has to determine our values. What’s at the center of our lives is what shapes our values. Thankfully, because of Jesus, it’s clear what’s at the center. However, the enemy tries to shift what’s at the center, which shifts our values. When Jesus is removed from our center, we replace it with ourselves, other people, money, materials, or our opinions. Then, our values are influenced by the thing that crept into the center.
In this passage of James, he’s saying, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God, and he will come near to you.” When we invite God into our lives, we’re drawing near to Him, and He always shows up to the places He’s invited! When the enemy starts to creep into our values, we have to take a moment to turn our focus back to Jesus. We re-center our values by re-centering Jesus, by taking a moment to stop and submit ourselves to God and invite Him into our lives.
There will be days that you have to re-center Jesus over and over again. Sometimes, the easiest part of your day is putting Jesus at the center. What matters most in your day-to-day is that you’re putting Jesus in his rightful place, inviting God into your life, and allowing him to be Lord of your values.
So, what’s at the center of your life? How does that shape what you value most?