What does following Jesus mean?
In one word: Surrender.
Following Jesus is when you stop (or surrender) doing life your way, and start doing life God’s way. It’s when you retire from being the boss of your life and let Jesus be the new CEO. God made us, and gave us a “user’s guide” called the Bible, so we’d know how to best live our lives. We often live however we want, doing “whatever feels good” but God wants us to live according to His will, revealed in His Word. Removing restraint from your life (living however YOU want) may seem like an exciting adventure, but it inevitably leads to tragedy. It’s a lot like removing the brakes from your car. That may be daring and filled with thrills for a while, but injury is certain. Take away the brakes and your life, like your car, is transformed into an unguided missile-destined for disaster.
That’s why Proverbs 14:12 says “There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.” It may seem natural at times to do whatever we please, but that leads to death in this life and in the life to come. Living God’s way leads to a fulfilled life now, and eternal life later. Since God made you He has every right to instruct you how to live. Only He knows what’s truly best for you. Following Jesus is all about coming to that realization – that God knows best since He made you. From that realization comes a changed life.
How? You start living by God’s standards and God’s guidelines for your life instead of your own. This pleases God and benefits you. You will always have an internal void, an emptiness in your soul, when you live life for your own pleasure, rather than for God’s.