"I want you to be My voice." God spoke these words to Sherri Downs five years ago—and astounded her.
She was comfortable with being His voice in the pulpit. Public speaking didn't intimidate her. But she had little background in written or other more formal types of communication.
Downs, who grew up in a Spirit-filled church, received the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues at age 14. In her teens, she became aware of the call and anointing God placed on her life and prepared herself to fulfill them.
Little did she know God would give her a website that would reach the masses. Little did she know He would enable her to write books. Little did she know she would become a podcaster who would teach believers how to W.I.N. (walk in newness) and equip them to overcome the enemy when feeling discouraged.
Through Downs' ministry, Touch Downs Enterprise (touchdownenterprise.com), God has provided all of that and more. Today, she carries His voice and glorifies His name as an enthusiastic and obedient kingdom warrior.
With more than two decades of touching the lives of others as an early childhood teacher—she began at age 18—God startled Downs in 2016 with an unexpected prophetic message.
"He told me He would cause my voice to be heard, and He told me to start writing," said Downs, who has now published two books and is in the process of producing a third. "He told me, 'The enemy is going to oppose the word of God in you,' and I knew I was simply stepping into the grace of the call He had for me.
"He told me to write, and I said, 'Lord, I don't know how to do that,' Downs says. "My sister, who is one of the biggest cheerleaders I have, told me to write something the day after I heard the prophetic word. And God kept saying it to me over and over again. So I said, 'Lord, let's do this.'
"While I was praying, God told me to grab my laptop, and the words just started pouring out of me," she adds. "I was just bawling. I knew that I had the gift of gab, but writing was not on my radar. However, it was on His. He knew the plans He had for me, and He gave me the seeds to plant. I just said, 'Thank you, Lord,' and it began to quicken.
"By the grace of God, He's causing my voice to be heard," Downs says. "He's telling me what to do. Some people do it because it's the thing to do. But this is my mandate; it's what He is telling me to do. I started following His voice, and now I'm using these platforms for Him."
Last year, God's prophetic word to her resulted In Downs' first book, Don't Be Bullied by the Devil: Take Authority and Fight Back, she conveys that, for years, she observed the enemy's negative influence on believers who lived broken, defeated lives, devoid of the promises of God. She could not fathom why—if they were given the power by Jesus to overcome Satan and realize their dreams—those dreams did not manifest.
In her own life, she clung to John 10:10, which says, "The thief does not come, except to steal and kill and to destroy. I came that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."
"Where was this abundant life, and why were there so many defeated believers?" Downs asks. "Jesus' arrival on earth was to defeat death, hell and the grave. The coming of Christ was the catalyst by which heaven bruised Satan's head, and the authority lost in the garden was restored back to man through Christ and salvation. Satan is a defeated foe, and believers must not be ignorant of his devices."
Downs also conveys that message in her second book, The Keys to Unprecedented Praying Power. She uses James 5:16b, "The effective fervent prayers of a righteous man accomplishes much," as the catalyst Scripture for that book.
"Sadly, I see that oftentimes people give up before they see the breakthrough they're praying for," Downs says. "I give examples of what it looks like to press through the obstacles, the weariness. The righteous do not relent. They stay there and keep praying and see the manifestation of answered prayers.
"I give examples of how He pushes us in prayer," she says. "Again, unfortunately, people are desensitized to the power of prayer. They act like it's not enough when, in reality, it's the most powerful thing you can do.
"His thoughts are not our thoughts," Downs adds. "We submit under the authority of God. Many people just try to put their hands on it, and they don't give God time to work. He doesn't deal in microwave answers; He deals in crockpot answers. The crockpot will do its job. But many people just don't expect God to come through.
"As believers, we have to plug into the power source of prayer," Downs says. "Go to God and leave your prayer there and know He will answer. When you take your prayer back from Him, it's false humility."
Kingdom Touch Downs
Downs' podcast, Kingdom Touch Downs, has become another of the ways God uses her to touch hearts and change lives. As a certified life coach, one of her main objectives is to convince believers that there are no losers in God's kingdom, only winners. On Kingdom Touch Downs, Sherri has explored topics like getting to the root of sin issues, accessing your destiny in Christ, learning how to grow in God's grace, and letting believers know they are born to win.
The podcast, launched in February 2021, was yet another prophetic surprise to Downs in God's plan for her kingdom voice to be heard. He spoke to her in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the prophetic word began to come together in late 2020.
In the natural, she had no idea of how to finance the podcast; she only knew that if the Lord wanted her to execute it, He would take care of those details, no matter how large an obstacle it might become.
"The podcast came because God told me it was coming," Downs says. "He caused me to dream about it, and then to prophetically decree over it. I told God I didn't want to do anything He wasn't breathing on. I told Him I needed a confirmation, and when the people in my ministry got hold of what God had told me to do, the finances came pouring in. He provided because I was obedient to what He was calling me to do."
Downs' husband, Sylvester Downs, serves in the worship ministry at Joliet First Assembly Church in Joliet, Illinois. He says obedience—no matter what God calls Sherri to do—is perhaps her most admirable character trait. The couple previously served the kingdom for five years as church planters and lead pastors at Perfecting Word Church in Midlothian, Illinois.
"I pray for Sherri every day, I encourage her, and I support her in whatever endeavor she undertakes," Sylvester says. "She definitely walks well in the office of prophetess, and she has the heart of a servant.
"The gifts God has given her are tremendous, and we see the fruit of her ministry—the breakthroughs, the deliverances," he adds. "We see that fruit because Sherri does whatever God tells her to do. She's obedient, and she just loves God with all her heart."
Touch Downs Academy
While her newly developed communications skills have touched the lives of many believers in the past five years, the impact of Downs' ministry reaches much further as she continues in prayer about new ways to serve the kingdom. God again spoke to her during the COVID-19 pandemic, a time when many believers needed encouragement to move forward.
Through Touch Downs Academy, Downs now teaches e-courses on spiritual resistance training to help believers understand spiritual warfare and defeat the enemy in every area of their lives. The blueprint for Touch Downs Academy, she says, was laid from the journals she kept during her teen years.
"I realized back then that I would fully walk in who God wanted me to be. And so, He said, it was time to put it all on the table," Downs says. "The year 2020 is when a lot of things started to birth fully. I started putting the finishing touches on and launching e-courses about spiritual warfare. I wanted to be a resource for women who really needed this.
"We started this full time back in September of 2020, and now we have about 40 women involved," Downs says. "We haven't lost anyone, and we are continuing to add to our numbers. It started out as an eight-week course, but now we continue to meet virtually on Tuesday each week, and we have a prayer group on Saturday mornings. It's definitely been a blessing for the women involved, and I'm just so honored to be able to lead it."
Here are only a few testimonials from the Touch Downs Academy group called The Huddle, as gathered from Downs' website:
"Sherri Downs is truly anointed. I had been seeing her from time to time on my own. One particular day I was watching her live, and I was confused with some things in my life. I desperately needed to hear from the Lord, so I asked God to speak to me. Sherri and I had never met before, But she said my name and started to prophesy to me everything I needed clarification on. I knew it was the Holy Spirit speaking to me through her, and it just gave me more clarification that God was real." — Sierra Michelle
"I have only been in the group for a couple of weeks, but man, oh man, every time we link up it feels like TNT dynamite. I thank God for this group because for years I have walked alone in life and thought, Well, that's it for me. So much has changed in these past weeks. I see so much potential that things cannot and will not be the same from this point on." — Chasity
"The Huddle for me was God sent. Coach Sherri breaks down the Scriptures so that I get a better understanding. Since then, my confidence has changed. — Nydia Sharp
Aside from the obvious correlation with her surname, Downs chose her ministry's name for one reason: her heart to see believers overcome the enemy's lies and deception about who they really are.
"It's difficult to watch people who feel like they can't win in life, and I want to see everyone obtaining victory," Downs says. "In football, when you think about touchdowns, you think about victory. You think about success and achieving goals. Christ wants us to have those wins in life.
"When we're living for God, we can get disappointed, as everyone does at times, but you can't stay that way," Downs says. "God wants victories in His pews. The enemy tries to roar like a lion, and that causes us to run and hide in fear, to back down and not push back. Through Christ we triumph, and we triumph because we follow Christ and obey Him. ... The enemy tries to bully us out of God's promises, but we must respect the authority the Lord places over us. But God has given us power over the darkness. We need to partner with Him to see the manifestation of breakthrough, and we will begin to see victory. That's what we're all about."
Shawn A. Akers is the online editor at Charisma Media.
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