Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington told a men's conference in Orlando, FL over the weekend what God has been telling him to do and it doesn't have anything to do with the entertainment industry.
The Christian Post (CP) reports Washington was a featured speaker at "The Better Man Event" hosted by First Baptist Orlando. During a discussion with Pastor A.R. Bernard, the senior pastor of the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, New York, Washington revealed a message he says he's hearing from God.
"At 66, getting ready to be 67, having just buried my mother, I made a promise to her and to God, not just to do good the right way, but to honor my mother and my father by the way I live my life, the rest of my days on this Earth. I'm here to serve, to help, to provide," the actor and New York native said.
During the half-hour interview on stage, Washington said he hears God telling him what to do every time he prays.
"In every prayer, all I hear is: 'Feed my sheep.' That's what God wants me to do," Washington said. He admitted to the audience that his response is, "What's that mean?" But he went on to explain, "What I found out in the last couple of years is there are all kinds of sheep. So that's why I talk to experienced shepherds to help guide me."
The actor noted that the world has changed, asking the church men's conference, "What is our role as a man?"
"The John Wayne formula is not quite a fit right now," he explained. "But strength, leadership, power, authority, guidance, patience are God's gift to us as men. We have to cherish that, not abuse it."
The actor also wanted the conference to know he's not the same man that they see up on the silver screen, according to the CP.
"What I played in the movies is not who I am, it's what I played," he stressed. "I'm not going to sit or stand on any pedestal and tell you about what I had in mind for you or your soul. Because the fact of the matter is, in the whole 40-year process, I was struggling for my own soul."
"It (the Bible) says in the last days we'll become lovers of ourselves," Washington pointed out. "The number one photograph now is a selfie. So we all want to lead. We're willing to do anything — ladies and young men — to be influential."
"Fame is a monster and we all have these ladders and battles, roads we have to walk in our given lives," he added. "Be you famous or whoever's out there listening, we all have our individual challenges."
Washington also shared how he thinks Christian men should seek success. The first thing he said is to "stay on your knees."
"Stay on your knees. Watch me, but listen to God," he said. "I hope that the words in my mouth and the meditation of my heart are pleasing in God's sight, but I'm human. I'm just like you. What I have will not keep me on this Earth for one more day. Share what you know, inspire who you can, seek advice. If you want to talk to one someone, talk to the one that can do something about it. Constantly develop those habits."
As CBN News reported last year, Washington, a devout Christian, spoke about his spiritual journey with Pastor Bernard during an Instagram interview, recalling the moment he was baptized in the Holy Spirit and a prophecy that was spoken over his life when he had just been kicked out of college.
The actor revealed that earlier in life he had given his soul to Christ several times, but it would take even more time for him to fully understand the magnitude of that conviction.
"Three times...I think we all go through that. I was filled with the Holy Ghost and it scared me," he said. "I didn't want to go this deep...I want to party. It was a supernatural, once in this lifetime experience that I couldn't completely understand at the time."
Washington also recalled the time a prophetic word was spoken over his life during a visit to his mother's beauty shop.
"Ruth Green was known to have the gift of prophecy. She lived in Mt. Vernon where I grew up and my mother did her hair. So she was in the beauty shop when I was sitting in there having been kicked out of school, out of college," Washington said. "And she said 'boy you're gonna travel the world and preach to millions of people.'"
He didn't have much hope for reaching millions of people at the time, but he has seen the fulfillment of that prophecy since then, having the opportunity to share his beliefs in multiple events in person and online.
"When I look at it now... what she said has come to pass," he said.
Despite feeling a spiritual presence on several different occasions, Washington wasn't ready to live a Christ-centered life.
"I accepted it and definitely experienced it, but I wasn't ready to live it," the actor admitted.
EDITOR'S NOTE: In reporting about the faith journeys of any high-profile individuals who are seeking Christ, CBN does not endorse past or current behavior that may not line up with the Word of God. We are simply reporting the positive developments in their spiritual walk and positive statements about God. As always, we encourage our readers to pray for anyone and everyone in the news, that the fruit of God would grow in all of our lives.