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.”
We can take God’s presence for granted. We can assume that because Jesus said He would be with us always, He will follow us wherever we go (Matt. 28:20). Jesus does not follow us; we are to follow Him. You do not invite God to join you in your activity. He invites you to become involved in His activity. Jesus said: “You did not choose Me, but I chose you” (John 15:16). Following Jesus requires absolute obedience. He does not seek our counsel about which direction we think is suitable. God already knows what is best without ever having to consult with us.
Following Jesus will lead you into experiences you never dreamed of! You will be with Jesus as He weeps over those trapped in sin. You will feel the pain that Jesus feels. You will see those who were spiritually blind experience the joy of coming to see God for the first time. You will see lives that were broken, made whole. You will see marriages restored; those in bondage, released; and those who mourn, comforted. At times it will be easy to follow Jesus. At other times, you will be tempted to abandon Him. Following Jesus can mean going through a storm or standing on a mountaintop.
You may have stopped following Jesus, but now you want to follow again. When you stopped following Jesus, you did so on your terms. But the returning to Jesus is strictly under His conditions. He is God, and you are not. Are you willing to follow Jesus anywhere, at any time, under any condition? That is the only way you can follow Him.