There is a very powerful statement toward the end of Joshua.
“Joshua said to the people, `You cannot serve YHWH, for He is holy; He [is] a jealous God.” Joshua 24:19.
There is only one relationship with The Holy One. It is in the holiness of His Son. It can never be in our own holiness. We see this in seeing the face of our Great High priest. He is our “holiness [as it is] to YHWH.” He is “the Head”. Only this One New Man can serve God.
“You cannot serve YHWH.”
But the exclusion of the first man is just the end. He has made a beginning in that He has opened a door which no man can shut. The Father has brought an end to our first life, and He has placed the Life of His Son in you. And now the will of God is, to reveal that Son in you, so that you can know Him in His rest. So that you may see and know Christ in you as The servant.
Many times the Father speaks of His Son as “My Servant”. Especially in the end of Isaiah. Look at how we are to “Behold Him”
“Behold My Servant! I am taking hold of Him. My Chosen One! Accepted by My soul! I bestow My Spirit upon Him, and He brings forth judgment to the nations. He does not cry, nor lift up loudness, nor cause His voice to be heard outside. A bruised reed He does not break, and dimmed flax He does not quench, for truth He brings forth judgment. And He does not dim nor bruise till He has placed The judgment in the earth. And those living on the coasts are waiting for His law. So says the God, Yahweh God, Creator of the heavens, Who stretched them out, Who spread out the land and all its increase, Who gives breath to the people on it, and spirit to those walking in it: I, Yahweh God, call You in righteousness, and I hold fast to Your hand and keep You, and I give You for a Covenant of the people, for a Light of the Nations” Isaiah 42:1-6, see also Isaiah 43:10, 44:1-4, 49:5-8, 52:13
He is your Covenant with the Father. Whenever I try to live or serve the Father in Christ’s stead, I am saying, “NO” to The New Covenant.
It’s because I want to serve God. So my reaction to His holiness is usually to try to become something I am not. I try to be more austere, serious or severe. As if quietness and reverence can buy access to God. But the Father never requires pomp or circumstance. He only requires His Son. And so we come to Him in His Son, “boldly to the throne of grace” Heb. 4:16.
Those who walk with God learn early on that their own goodness has nothing to with knowing Him.
Abraham didn’t know he was saying “NO” to God when he pleaded with Him to accept Ishmael. But he was saying “NO”. And because He does not relate with us according to our ignorance He lovingly came to their tent in person, and told them they would have a completely different son. And then, Sarah laughed out loud. And The Lord asked her why she laughed, and she actually denied it! And so Isaac was named laughter.
Moses argued with God about how he was the wrong man to be sent. He didn’t yet understand how right he was. Jacob wrestled with God. Job questioned God. And then there was Samson, Wow. Forget about Delilah. Do you get how wrong it was for a Nazarite to eat honey out of a lions carcass, or even to touch the bones of a dead animal? David murdered and committed adultery. Peter denied Jesus, three times.
But the Father didn’t punish these or disqualify them, because they were never the One qualified to begin with. The Father lovingly corrected them by turning them to see the One Who has always been His satisfaction from the beginning. These men were brought in to the relationship of knowing the Lord. And in giving up on themselves and their own ability to serve God, they were transformed into vessels of Him, The One true Servant of the Father. And in this, they found themselves abiding in and as, the good ground, in a new creation, with this new heart created completely separate from the old fruitless soil. They furthered God’s Kingdom because God’s Seed was seen and known to be present in them, and they were vessels of the increase of God’s Seed.
So why do we require outward demonstrations that have nothing to do with Christ? Why do we frown on those who don’t listen to “Christian music”? And look down on people who are divorced, or who struggle with anger or may have even murdered? What about loud people, or people who are not as well groomed, people who do not have their “act together?” God didn’t choose the “got it together” crowd.
It is important to see that He also did not choose the “ragamuffin” crowd.
He has chosen One “only begotten Son.” He has chosen “ONE NEW MAN”. When we truly see Him, then we experience the circumcision of the heart, that is when nothing man accomplishes in the world matters any more. Only Christ in you counts. Nothing outward matters. He is the only true evidence. And in seeing Him, we are “severed” from trusting in any evidence seen in the flesh.
“May it never be for me to boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision matters, only a New Creation” Gal. 6:14-15.
Look at what is said here. There is just no boasting in Christ, because man cannot produce anything of the Spirit. He alone is your obedience. Many say that “the New Creation has yet to be revealed?” If you are still waiting for the New Creation to be revealed, you are looking at the wrong creation, the realm of the flesh. The Father shows you the “New Creation” every time He shows you His Son. You are seeing the The New Creation whenever you are made to see Him in union in His Body. “You were created in Christ Jesus for good works” Eph. 2:6, The presence of the Living God in a people is the New Creation in heaven and on earth, The Body of Christ. He is a people who have no Life except Christ. Requiring external purity of the old creation comes from the Pharisee in us.
“Blind Pharisee! First cleanse the inside of the cup and of the dish, that the outside of them may become clean also”. Mt. 23:26
His coming changes everything. His presence on the inward parts is the cleansing of the outward.
I am not ignorant of all those Bible verses that try to describe what the expression of eternal Life looks like. I am saying that trying to change outward actions without receiving the change within is out of order. And knowing His heart within is whole deal. In the same way as if you seek first the kingdom and His righteousness, then all these things will be added in you, So also if you have the Life of Christ reigning in your inward parts then, the outward will take care of itself.
When a king makes war on another country, He first goes to the capitol. He comes and reigns in the seat of authority. His coming is in you. He reigns “in the midst of His enemies” Ps. 110:2.
“From the labor of His soul He sees light-He is satisfied, by His knowledge My righteous Servant justifies many, and their depravities He bears.” Isaiah 53:11