A small group of women from my home town are gathering together every week to read The Resolution for Women by Priscilla Shirer. When I’m able, I prepare an additional lesson from Scripture to accompany our discussion. I’ll share my thoughts with you, too.
The first week we met, I felt that it was important to explore where we’d get the power to keep the 13 noble resolutions. Even I can admit that when it comes to habits of the heart, checking off boxes on a colorful chart does not guarantee success. Besides, the results of a “try harder” attitude wouldn’t be ideal.
If we were glowingly successful, we’d reap pride.
If we were dismal failures, we’d reap depression.
There must be something more. We read Ephesians 4: 17 – 24 and talked about how Paul is constantly talking about putting off the “old man” and putting on the “new man”. He’d love Shirer’s new book; he’d love our resolve to live more like Christ. But he’s also the same guy who wrote Romans 7 : 21 – 25: he knew that none of us could exert enough effort to be that “new man” by ourselves. After expressing his frustration that we cannot make the choice to live godly lives, Paul concludes with the definition of hope: Thanks be to God for rescuing me! I can live a holy life because Jesus Christ already has lived it for me.Â
We cannot change ourselves. Jesus is the one who changes us, and He does it through the Holy Spirit. His entire life – from conception to ascension – took place by the power of the Holy Spirit to show us that we are to live in precisely the same way. From our spirit’s first renewed breath to our last, we can – no, we must – live without sin by the power of the Holy Spirit. Above all, we must remember that the “old man” isÂ me. The “new man” is not “a better me”. The “new man” is Christ himself.
We’ll be memorizing Romans 8: 13 – 15 as we read the book so that we do not forget that the motivation and the power to live holy lives rests wholly in Jesus. As we resolve to be content, compassionate, courageous women, we will often feel a desperate need for help! That’s been God’s plan all along. So, we call out “Abba! Father! Please help me, Holy Spirit!” and He does.
“I am crucified with Christ therefore I no longer live; Jesus Christ now lives through me.” Galatians 2:20
Are you reading The Resolution for Women? Would you share your ideas to complement the reading?