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"Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath" (James 1:19).

When you receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, you enlist yourself in the army of the Lord. Then the first thing you have to do is become available to hear, to heed, and to hearken to the word of God that you hear.

At our church we have something called Membership Class and Holy Spirit Class. These classes help you to understand what it means to be in the army of the Lord, and who you are in the army of the Lord. We can call that boot camp.

It is a good thing that God doesn't require in the body of Christ the same type of boot camp that is required in the United States Army. When you come to the boot camp of the Lord, it teaches you what God has said about you.

You need this information to go back out in the field (your community) and become an effective soldier of the Lord. Being an effective soldier of the Lord is being able to share with others what God says about them.

Now, you need to hear the word of the Lord. "Hear" means to listen to with attention. Listening to someone with attention means that while the other person is talking you are not looking around the room. Your eyes are on them. Hear means also to take heed to.

To heed means to pay attention to concern yourself with. You're thinking about how this fits you, not how it fits someone else. You are applying the Word of God to your own life so that you can hearken to it and allow it to change your life.

When you hearken to the Word of the Lord you are giving it respectful attention. You are looking at the person doing the speaking and thinking about applying it to your life. Then when you go away from that person, you keep what they have said in your heart and you do it. You do the part you like as well as the part you don't like—you hearken to it.

That is how you become an effective soldier in the army of the Lord. A soldier does what his general says. Well, your general is Jesus. Hear, heed, and hearken to what He has said and you will be an effective soldier in the army of the Lord.

Scripture Reference: John 14:15; 15:10; Mark 4:14-23

Copyright © Keith Butler Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Deborah Butler
Web site: Word of Life Brussells
Pastor Deborah L. Butler is the first lady of Word of Faith International Christian Centre located in Southfield, Michigan where she serves in ministry with her husband, Bishop Keith A. Butler. Pastor Deborah is a licensed and ordained minister of the Gospel. Her encouraging, yet down-to-earth teaching imparts wisdom from the Word of God to all that hear her speak. One of Pastor Butler's many duties is serving as the Director of the Women of Virtue Ministry. Pastor Deborah is often called to travel to other ministries to teach and admonish women to walk in the wisdom of God and to experience peace in every area of their lives.

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