As we follow him, we are also formed by him. – Dallas Willard
The Bible has a lot to say about following Jesus. We have a pretty clear set of instructions regarding the necessity of following him. If there are any doubts, check out the following verses. We are invited to follow Jesus and we are formed by what we follow. If we want to be more like Jesus then we need to follow him so that we can be formed by him.
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. – John 8:12
Then Jesus told his disciples, If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. – Mathew 16:24
And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him – 1 John 2:3-4
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. – John 10:27
So the big question for each of us to answer is, "am I following Jesus?" I mean really following Jesus. I mean the kind of following that has me carrying my cross daily, keeping his commandments, giving sacrificially, faithfully using my gifts, making disciples, and so on.
Stop and think about it for a moment. Jesus asks you to follow him. He told you what following him will look like. How closely does your life match what Jesus told you a faithful follower would like? I ask these questions of myself because they are important to my faith formation. If I am not fully participating in what it means to follow Jesus then I am not being fully formed into Christlikeness.
If you want to start following Jesus today or recommit yourself to following Jesus, then I'd like to invite you to say the following prayer and then make the decision to follow him wherever he leads.
Prayer: Jesus, I want to follow you wherever you lead me to go. I also confess that sometimes, I am really bad at doing that. Give me your heart for loving God and loving others so that I may follow you according to your terms and not my own. If there is an area that I can be more like you, please show me and align my heart with yours. Amen.