1 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive everythought to make it obedient to Christ. NIV
Following God involves continuous testing and evaluation for correction of our sinful thoughts and attitudes. (see scientific method)
Resist any conformity which goes against God
When we join a group whether it is a class at a public school, church, or 12 step meeting, we learn to see what other people are doing and then figure out how to fit in. We listen to instructions, but ultimately we go by what other people are doing. Extraverts may jump right in and master this process quickly while introverts can be more passive observers. Most of us function this way. The instructions are secondary. Few people will go against group norms to point out how the group is missing the mark. Yet truth be told, the only true way to God is to be willing to stay in the truth no matter what the consequence. Jesus and the apostles died for the correct message to be taught. We must be willing to face many social challenges and especially seek adjustments within ourselves to stay the course of peace, love, mercy, forgiveness, truth, justice, compassion, and patience. We ought to follow, learn, adjust, and improve on these character traits each day.
Luke 6:39 He also told them this parable: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit?
Jesus says to his disciples, "follow me." They left their things and lived with Jesus. If we are followers of Christ then we would leave our stuff, ideas, personal beliefs, understanding, traditions, wants, and desires to live with Jesus. We let go of anything that may hinder our obedience. Let's see what the bible says.
Fishermen, women, tax collectors, sinners, and great multitudes followed Jesus with a certain requirement . . . self-denial.
Reading Scripture with a Godly attitude
How is our attitude? Are we angry, guarded, or resistant? Sometimes our attitude can be in the way of seeing God's truth. So we ought to process our negative feelings before reading scripture. Scripture is there to teach us so we ought to have the attitude of a student. Are we ready to learn? If we read scripture and do not learn anything then it may have something to with our attitude. Do we want to understand more?
If we are upset, angry, or resentful confession of our mental and emotional situation may help. We must seek the attitude of a humble student in order to be open to learn what God has for us. Perhaps what God has for us to learn is how to be humble. Willingness, truth, and humility must be within us, in our minds and hearts, to understand God's spiritual message. Can we understand peace under anxiety or forgiveness under resentment? Can we know love if we feel hate?
If we are resistant then perhaps some time in meditation, prayer, and discussion with a mentor might help. As we read the scripture we ought to try to pay close attention toward attitudes, of ourselves, and biblical characters. Much of the bible's message to us has to do with those underlying qualities. Our hearts, beliefs, opinions, and attitude affected by our thought life sets up the condition of our spiritual lives.
(We ought to be able to learn and better understand patterns. God does not change. This is a good thing. We can understand God's character by evaluating it in many different scenarios rather quickly by doing a concordance search on a website like https://www.biblegateway.com/. Just click on it, type in a word you want to learn about and then read through the scripture. Doing this as a group can really provide a valuable learning experience toward God's message. Since we all learn differently we often see things others don't and sharing about it together helps us see more.)
Patiently read and digest the verses below asking the questions, "what does God say about follow" and "what is the spiritual meaning of it for us?" Remember, the teaching Jesus has to the disciples includes us. If any of Jesus' teaching to the disciples pertains to us, breaking of bread, then all of it does. Let's not pick and choose. Either we are Christians, or we are not.
Follow ~ People left everything to follow Jesus
Matthew 4:19 Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Matthew 10:38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
Matthew 16:24 [ Take Up the Cross and Follow Him ] Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
Matthew 19:21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
Matthew 27:55 And many women who followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to Him, were there looking on from afar,
Mark 2:15 Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him.
Mark 3:7 But Jesus withdrew with His disciples to the sea. And a great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judea
Mark 5:24 So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him.
Mark 8:34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
Mark 10:21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”
Mark 15:41 who also followed Him and ministered to Him when He was in Galilee, and many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem.
Luke 9:23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
Luke 23:27 And a great multitude of the people followed Him, and women who also mourned and lamented Him.
John 8:12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
John 10:4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.
John 10:5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”
John 10:27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
John 12:26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.
John 21:20 Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, “Lord, who is the one who betrays You?”
Acts 16:17 This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.”
1 Thessalonians 1:6 And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit,
2 Thessalonians 3:7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you;
1 Timothy 4:6 If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed.
2 Timothy 3:10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance,
Revelation 14:13 Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”
Psalm 63 Joy in the Fellowship of God
A Psalm of David when he was in the wilderness of Judah.
63 O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
2 So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.
3 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
4 Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.
6 When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches.
7 Because You have been my help,
Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
8 My soul follows close behind You;
Your right hand upholds me.
9 But those who seek my life, to destroy it,
Shall go into the lower parts of the earth.
10 They shall fall by the sword;
They shall be a portion for jackals.
11 But the king shall rejoice in God;
Everyone who swears by Him shall glory;
But the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped.
Proverbs 21:21 He who follows righteousness and mercy Finds life, righteousness, and honor.
Luke 9 The Cost of Discipleship
57 Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.”
58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”
59 Then He said to another, “Follow Me.”
But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”
60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.”
61 And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.”
62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Luke 17:5 And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
6 So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. 7 And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? 8 But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? 9 Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. 10 So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’”
1 Timothy 5:10 well reported for good works: if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good work.
Remember, we all come away with a slightly different understanding. Now try and read it with someone else adding a discussion afterwards and see if that doesn't add new learning. Listening to new perspectives helps us learn more. Two heads/hearts are better than one. A joy shared is doubled, a problem shared is cut in half.
Following other ways than God's
We all come to God with different experiences, understandings, desires, and faith. Some come to God from a healthy religious back ground and some with a painful religious back ground. Others might come to God having hardly any religious experience or perhaps none at all. We all have one thing in common. We sin and miss God's intention for us. Many of us have become accustomed to sin. If we believe God is perfect, really believe, then wouldn't we be seeking God's will with the same desperation as someone starving would seek food? Yet, most of us have some belief conflicts which require help, redirection, and re-education. First, we need to consider what it is we follow and believe. We have to look at it and look at it thoroughly. We can't correct what we will not face. Why do we go where we go? Why do we choose the friends we choose? Why do we work where we work? What do we hope for, dream about, and seek? What have we decided will make us happy or successful? Are these aligned with God?
Here is more scripture on follow
Hebrews 13:7 Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct.
1 Peter 3:13 [ Suffering for Right and Wrong ] And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good?
2 Peter 2:2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.
2 Peter 2:15 They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;
Proverbs 28:19 He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, But he who follows frivolity will have poverty enough!
Proverbs 12:11 He who tills his land will be satisfied with bread, But he who follows frivolity is devoid of understanding.
Proverbs 15:9 The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, But He loves him who follows righteousness.
Psalm 38:20 Those also who render evil for good, They are my adversaries, because I follow what is good.
Follow Examples (we often do what people do, not what they say)
We ought to be careful not to follow others who may be asleep in their faith. We each ought to be reading the Bible so we can better understand how to discern the truth from the false and evil from Good. A pastor who leads a congregation can have far too many people to spend time with educating, coaching, and guiding along individual spiritual needs. God gave us each other and a spirit for such guidance and counsel. Our leader must be God above all others. So we must know God more and more. God has provided people to demonstrate what we ought to do. We ought to see that we put such demonstrations into practice.
John 13:15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.
1 Corinthians 10:6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted.
1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
Philippians 3:17 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.
1 Thessalonians 1:7 so that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe.
2 Thessalonians 3:9 not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us.
1 Timothy 4:12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
Hebrews 4:11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.
James 5:10 My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience.
1 Peter 2:21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:
1 Peter 5:3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;
2 Peter 2:6 and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly;
Jude 1:7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
John 13 Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet
13 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.
2 And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, 4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. 5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. 6 Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?”
7 Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.”
8 Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!”
Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”
9 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!”
10 Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, “You are not all clean.”
12 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
Matthew 18:4 Whoever therefore humbles himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Kids learn very early following the leader is not just going where the leader goes, but doing precisely what the leader does.