|The Prophetic Gifts Are For Every Believer - Shawn Bolz
"Everyone Can Hear From God -
The Prophetic Gifts Are For
Shawn Bolz, Glendale, CA
I was at an entertainment event speaking to a very engaged group of young film and TV professionals. My topic was on, How God can lead us in our entertainment calling. Many of them had never considered this before. At one point I said, "Is there a writer here who is writing a political intrigue series/screenplay about a modern-day Solomon, and it's about his rulership? And if you are here, is your name Sam?"
This young guy gasped. He raised his hand and said, "How do you know this?" He was a Believer but had never heard the voice of God through a prophetic word before.
"God loves this creativity inside of you. He has authored this project and will help you with it. It will take longer than you think, but it is totally His desire! He is going to give you a connection to Sony Motion Pictures to help you develop your writing gift." He was even more shocked. Later he told me he had just signed with Sony on a three-picture writing contract (not his own pet project, but perfect for growing his gift).
Here is where it gets cool: He had never had a prophetic word from someone else, but he was convinced about what he had heard, himself, and never knew that God would confirm it. It was his most precious secret because he felt such a calling and sense of purpose behind it.
Everyone Can Hear From God
Everyone can hear from God, and I am proof of that. I grew up in a loving Christian home where my parents modeled and included God in our everyday lives. They always had a hunger to see what was in the Bible, and we would listen for God's heart and voice to guide our family decisions. Having my parents model to us-that God speaks and when we follow Him we get a different outcome-shaped the way that I now pursue God as an adult. They nurtured our belief, so whether we were born gifted in prophecy or not, our pursuit of God included a pursuit of the prophetic gifts.
Our parents consistently included listening prayer when facing everyday circumstances. Lose your keys? Ask God to help you find them. Do you have friends going through problems? Ask God how to counsel them. Need to make a decision about which electives to take in school? Ask Jesus to show you what would make you come alive.
I was raised to naturally lean into these gifts by my parents. The particular churches we attended, while growing up, didn't have prophets, so I wasn't told that there were only a special few who had the "gift" of hearing from God. My parents were part of a fledgling church movement called the "Vineyard" and the leader, John Wimber, had a motto that, "Everyone gets to play." That meant that everyone was empowered to see God move in real ways.
We got to pursue a Biblical understanding of a relationship with God that included the fact that He speaks and wants to connect to us through His Spirit and gifts.
I Wanted to See Breakthrough "God Moments" Outside the Walls of Church Activity
In my late teens, I chose to turn down a pursuit of the performing arts in order to go after ministry because I always had a missional heart. While my parents were first-generation Christians and were super excited by how God was moving within the Church, as a second generation Christian, I couldn't wait to see what the love of God could do to transform the world. I couldn't see a quicker way toward bringing in this transformation than by using the already available, revelatory gift-set of words of prophecy, words of knowledge, and words of wisdom.
In my young experience, the prophetic was bringing instant breakthrough-causing opportunities to happen in moments that would normally take a lifetime to get. One breakthrough prophetic word was creating the same effect in hearts that ten counseling sessions would take, or giving the same level of encouragement a year of life coaching would give. I was just addicted to the love of God breaking through in the prophetic, and it caused me to desire a greater level of gifting and accuracy so that more of God could be seen.
Getting a Prophetic Mantle Starts With Seeing What God Loves
This is how I received a prophetic anointing: I longed to see the love of God accelerated and lavished on the humanity Jesus had died for. By the time I was twenty-six, I had impartation after impartation (hands laid on me) from other prophetic people and leaders in the Body of Christ. I was functioning really well in prophetic ministry, but I knew there was more. I was hungry to see the transformative power of God to not just encourage the world, but change it! Jesus paid too high a price for us to reduce our prophetic gifting to a few encouraging words; I wanted to see the revelation of Jesus manifest all over the earth!
I spent a year reading about everyone who had ever seemed to have a deeper personal connection with God. I read through biographies and autobiographies of modern revival figures, early church figures, the saints, the Catholic mystics; and after each one, I just kept crying out, "I want to know You! I want to be with You! I want this to be a "for real" experience and lifestyle."
Then one day I heard Jesus say, "I want what you want more than you want it. I want you to be with Me and to know Me and to encounter Me far more than you do!"
In my excitement, I said, "Give me a Scripture that proves this is true and not just my desire!" And He did. He said, "Read what I prayed in John 17:24."
Father, I want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am, and to see My glory, the glory You have given Me because You loved Me before the creation of the world. John 17:24
And there it was! Jesus prayed that we would be with Him where He is, that we'd truly know Him and that we'd be one with Him! I received the grace to pray to know Him and see Him and experience Him, and I was never the same after this.
I have received many upgrades to my prophetic ability to hear and translate God to the world around me. There were times I felt like such a novice, but as I pursued love and eagerly went after prophecy (1 Corinthians 14:1), God kept raising my expectation for a deeper connection to Him and the world around me-all through His prophetic gifts. (Photo via Pixabay)
In 2013, I received one of these upgrades, and with it, God showed me the power of the word of knowledge. He showed me that He wanted to use His intimate knowledge of people to show them how He loves them-how He planned for them to be born, how He loves their marriages, how proud of their education and careers He is-and to cause people to fall in love with Him.
In other words, I started to get birth dates and anniversary dates of strangers, grounding them in the knowledge that God knows them and cares about what they care about. I began to hear people's school alma maters and know what careers they were in. I had visions of significant moments in their lives when something good happened, where God had been present, and that brought them into a connection, or deeper connection, with the God who loves them and is with them.
I had never seen such a powerful demonstration of God's love through other prophecies as I was seeing through words of knowledge. It has taken a lot of practice. I had to became a beginner that would ask a lot of questions when I felt like I was in a revelatory moment. Each new gift or upgrade takes a maturing process. I am still active in this process.
After receiving this particular upgrade, I began to pray for others to receive it. I helped focus them on the fact that God is doing a new thing and helped to release faith to go for it! Just like Paul, who encouraged Timothy to fan into flame the gifts he had been imparted, I knew that I was supposed to pray impartation over people-and over you, the one reading this-and then encourage them to fan into flame what is inside of them!
One of my favorite moments during this time was when Randy Clark asked me to come to his Global Prophetic School event in Pennsylvania. After watching me give words, he wanted to go after the prophetic words of knowledge gift specifically-not just for words of knowledge for healing conditions, but also to demonstrate God's love through prophecy. He received the impartation from me and then stepped out for over forty-five minutes, getting address numbers of houses, hearing street names, people's children's names, and more.
It was uncomfortable for him as he practiced stretching this muscle in a new way, but it paid off in more ways than one as so many people watched a great leader try something, at great risk, that was new to him. Sometimes the words paid off powerfully and some of them didn't land with anyone. I know Randy received an upgrade of faith and for words of knowledge for prophecy that night, and I know you can as well.
I want to pray for you to experience the faith to take the risk to grow in the prophetic gifts. I pray that you would be gentle with your process of learning and growing in revelatory gifts, and that you would have courage to learn from it all-through the awesome successes, but also the times a word doesn't seem to be a power moment or the times that it doesn't land at all.
I pray for your revelation upgrade!
Shawn Bolz is a spiritual adviser, producer, media personality, and minister. He is passionate about seeing individuals and groups learn how to be the most connected best version of themselves. Shawn has been a pioneer in ministry including the prophetic movement since he was in his teens. His focus on having a genuine relationship with God, creativity through entertainment & social justice have brought him around the world to meet with churches, CEO's, entertainers, and world leaders. Shawn is also the founding pastor of Expression58 Christian Ministries, a ministry focused on the entertainment industry and the poor in Los Angeles. He is an author of several books, including best-selling Translating God and Keys to Heaven's Economy. Shawn lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Cherie, and their two daughters.