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 And He spoke a parable to them: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch? NKJV
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 He said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers for men.” WEB
Matthew 10:38 He who doesn’t take his cross and follow after me, isn’t worthy of me. WEB
Matthew 16:24 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. WEB
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.” WEB
Matthew 27:55 Many women were there watching from afar, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, serving him. WEB
Mark 2:15 He was reclining at the table in his house, and many tax collectors and sinners sat down with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many, and they followed him. WEB
Mark 3:7 Jesus withdrew to the sea with his disciples, and a great multitude followed him from Galilee, from Judea, WEB
Mark 5:24 He went with him, and a great multitude followed him, and they pressed upon him on all sides. WEB
Mark 8:34 He called the multitude to himself with his disciples, and said to them, “Whoever wants to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. WEB
Mark 10:21 Jesus looking at him loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack. Go, sell whatever you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me, taking up the cross.” WEB
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. WEB
Luke 9:23 He said to all, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross,[a] and follow me. WEB
Luke 23:27 A great multitude of the people followed him, including women who also mourned and lamented him. WEB
John 8:12 Again, therefore, Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world.[a] He who follows me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life.” WEB
John 10:4 Whenever he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 They will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him; for they don’t know the voice of strangers.” WEB
John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. WEB
John 12:26 If anyone serves me, let him follow me. Where I am, there will my servant also be. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him. WEB
John 21:20 Then Peter, turning around, saw a disciple following. This was the disciple whom Jesus loved, the one who had also leaned on Jesus’ breast at the supper and asked, “Lord, who is going to betray You?” WEB
Acts 16:17 Following Paul and us, she cried out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us a way of salvation!” WEB
1 Thessalonians 1:6 You became imitators of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, WEB
2 Thessalonians 3:7 For you know how you ought to imitate us. For we didn’t behave ourselves rebelliously among you, WEB
1 Timothy 4:6 If you instruct the brothers of these things, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, nourished in the words of the faith, and of the good doctrine which you have followed. WEB
2 Timothy 3:10 But you did follow my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, steadfastness, WEB
Revelation 14:13 I heard the voice from heaven saying, “Write, ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’” WEB
Psalm 63 Joy in the Fellowship of God
A Psalm of David when he was in the wilderness of Judah.
63 God, you are my God.
I will earnestly seek you.
My soul thirsts for you.
My flesh longs for you,
in a dry and weary land, where there is no water.
2 So I have seen you in the sanctuary,
watching your power and your glory.
3 Because your loving kindness is better than life,
my lips shall praise you.
4 So I will bless you while I live.
I will lift up my hands in your name.
5 My soul shall be satisfied as with the richest food.
My mouth shall praise you with joyful lips,
6 when I remember you on my bed,
and think about you in the night watches.
7 For you have been my help.
I will rejoice in the shadow of your wings.
8 My soul stays close to you.
Your right hand holds me up.
9 But those who seek my soul, to destroy it,
shall go into the lower parts of the earth.
10 They shall be given over to the power of the sword.
They shall be jackal food.
11 But the king shall rejoice in God.
Everyone who swears by him will praise him,
for the mouth of those who speak lies shall be silenced. WEB
Proverbs 21:21 He who follows after righteousness and kindness
finds life, righteousness, and honor. WEB
Luke 9 The Cost of Discipleship
They went to another village. 57 As they went on the way, a certain man said to him, “I want to follow you wherever you go, Lord.” 58 Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” 59 He said to another, “Follow me!” But he said, “Lord, allow me first to go and bury my father.” 60 But Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead, but you go and announce God’s Kingdom.”
61 Another also said, “I want to follow you, Lord, but first allow me to say good-bye to those 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 God’s Kingdom.” WEB
Luke 17:5-10 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” 6 The Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you would tell this sycamore tree, ‘Be uprooted, and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.7 But who is there among you, having a servant plowing or keeping sheep, that will say, when he comes in from the field, ‘Come immediately and sit down at the table,’ 8 and will not rather tell him, ‘Prepare my supper, clothe yourself properly, and serve me, while I eat and drink. Afterward you shall eat and drink’? 9 Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded? I think not.10 Even so you also, when you have done all the things that are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy servants. We have done our duty.’” WEB
1 Timothy 5:10 being approved by good works, if she has brought up children, if she has been hospitable to strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, and if she has diligently followed every good work. WEB
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 7 Remember your leaders, men who spoke to you the word of God, and considering the results of their conduct, imitate their faith. WEB
1 Peter 3:13 Now who is he who will harm you, if you become imitators of that which is good? WEB
2 Peter 2:2 Many will follow their immoral[a] ways, and as a result, the way of the truth will be maligned. WEB
2 Peter 2:15 forsaking the right way, they went astray, having followed the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of wrongdoing; WEB
Proverbs 28:19 One who works his land will have an abundance of food; but one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty. WEB
Proverbs 12:11 He who tills his land shall have plenty of bread, but he who chases fantasies is void of understanding. WEB
Proverbs 15:9 The way of the wicked is an abomination to Yahweh, but he loves him who follows after righteousness. WEB
Psalm 38:20 They who also render evil for good are adversaries to me, because I follow what is good. WEB
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 also should do as I have done to you. WEB
1 Corinthians 10:6 6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. WEB
1 Corinthians 10:11 1 Now all these things happened to them by way of example, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come. WEB
Philippians 3:17 Brothers, be imitators together of me, and note those who walk this way, even as you have us for an example. WEB
1 Thessalonians 1:7 so that you became an example to all who believe in Macedonia and in Achaia. WEB
2 Thessalonians 3:9 not because we don’t have the right, but to make ourselves an example to you, that you should imitate us. WEB
1 Timothy 4:12 12 Let no man despise your youth; but be an example to those who believe, in word, in your way of life, in love, in spirit, in faith, and in purity. WEB
Hebrews 4:11 Let us therefore give diligence to enter into that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience. WEB
James 5:10 Take, brothers, for an example of suffering and of patience, the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. WEB
1 Peter 2:21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving you[a] an example, that you should follow his steps, WEB
1 Peter 5:3 neither as lording it over those entrusted to you, but making yourselves examples to the flock. WEB
2 Peter 2:6 and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly; WEB
Jude 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them, having, in the same way as these, given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are shown as an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire. WEB
John 13 Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet
Now before the feast of the Passover, Jesus, knowing that his time had come that he would depart from this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 During supper, the devil having already put 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 came from God, and was going to God, 4 arose from supper, and laid aside his outer garments. He took a towel, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 Then he came to Simon Peter. He said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?”
7 Jesus answered him, “You don’t know what I am doing now, but you will understand later.”
8 Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet!
Jesus answered him, “If I don’t 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, “Someone who has bathed only needs to have his feet washed, but is completely clean. You are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For he knew him who would betray him, therefore he said, “You are not all clean.” 12 So when he had washed their feet, put his outer garment back on, and sat down again, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call me, ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord.’ You say so correctly, for so I am. 14 If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. 16 Most certainly I tell you, a servant is not greater than his lord, neither one who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. WEB
Matthew 18:4 Whoever therefore humbles himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. NKJV
Kids learn very early following the leader is not just going where the leader goes, but doing precisely what the leader does.