To follow the Messenger means to follow only the revelations (wahy)
“Say: If you love Allah, follow me. فَاتَّبِعُون۪ي (fa-ittabiʿūnī). Allah will love you and forgive your sins…” (Al Imran  31).
“Say: … I follow اَتَّبِعُ (attabi’u) only what is revealed to me…” (al-Anam  50. Also al-Ahqaf  9).
If a person says “I love Allah” he has to follow the messenger. To follow the messenger is the indicator of the love of Allah. Ittiba (follow) means to step on the steps of the person in front and move forward. The messenger followed what was revealed to him. He followed the revelations (wahy) step by step. When we follow the messenger, we will be following the revelation that he followed step by step. If we walk like the Messenger of Allah along the lines drawn by the Quran, we will love Allah. Then Allah loves us too.