Anachronism is a two-dollar word that describes the idea of being outside of your place in history. [The exact definition, for those curious, is “something or someone that is not in its correct historical chronological time.”]
To say that prophetic revelation is anachronistic is an understatement. Prophecy is, essentially, the ability to glimpse into the future happenings of everything the Lord has in His heart for the earth. It’s a glimpse outside of time and into eternity. But there are two aspects to prophecy in regards to timing that are essential for learning how to function in the gift. The first aspect: being anachronistic. The second: trying not to be anachronistic.
On one hand, God has given us the ability to see into the future, and we are responsible for what we do with what we see. We have the responsibility of being anachronistic – of taking things that are meant for another time and bringing them into our current context. King David is the perfect example of someone living anachronistically. He was a man after God’s heart, and in God’s heart he saw the dream to have God’s presence indwelling among the people. David, in establishing the Tabernacle of David (2 Samuel 6) brought that reality (meant for another time) into his current context. In wisdom he pulled the future into the now. We have the same call – to see what God is doing and to make it a reality. Will we use wisdom to create the realities we see God releasing on the earth? Or will we ignore them completely?
But the problem with living anachronistically is that often times when we receive revelation we assume that everything we see is meant for us right now. This is simply not the case. Sometimes we will hear or see or sense things that are meant for another time, and all we can do is wait patiently, partnering with the Holy Spirit, until the designated appointment.
So how do we know what’s meant for today and what’s not? How do we know when to be like David – pulling in realities meant for another day – and when do we wait patiently in prayer for the appointed day and hour? I wish there was a simple list out there that could be referenced, but if there is one, I don’t know about it. There is, however, the Gift of Wisdom (1 Corinthians 12). Just like the gift of prophecy, the gift of wisdom is essential for understanding the seasons (the timing) of our prophetic words. Is what we’re hearing for today, tomorrow, or the very distant future? We should ask for wisdom (and when we ask, we receive – James 1:5).
So what’s the point of all this? What’s the point of anachronism? The point is to understand timing and how it relates to prophetic revelation. Some things we see and hear will be for the now moment, and some will not. We need wisdom in the hearing, seeing and sensing; we need wisdom in the interpreting; and we need wisdom in the releasing of our prophetic words in order to ensure that we’re exactly when and where we’re suppose to be.
“The right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of jewelry.” Proverbs 25:11 (The Message)