If you've kept record of your prophetic words over the years, you've probably noticed that at least some of these revelations played out a little differently—or maybe a lot differently—than you expected. You also may be experiencing what I call the progressive application of your prophetic revelation.
In other words, when you received the prophetic word you applied it to your life or ministry in the best way you knew how at the time. That application wasn't wrong, but it may not have been the fullness of God's prophetic intent. Often, it takes years for a prophetic word to realize its full manifestation. You take steps toward it as the prophetic revelation unfolds.
I've experienced this a number of times in the last decade alone. You could look at it as God connecting the dots of your prophetic destiny, but it runs deeper than that. When you experience progressive application of a prophetic revelation, you're essentially growing into the prophetic word. At first you didn't have the capacity to walk in the completeness of what the Lord was saying, so you entered into a training ground that allowed you to apply the principles of the prophetic word on a smaller scale.
The Ezra Revelation
One of the best examples I can offer from my personal life is what I now affectionately refer to as the "Ezra revelation." In Ezra 4 we discover the work on the house of God in Jerusalem ceased after much resistance and opposition. After some time, the restoration of the temple resumed with prophets playing a key role.
"Then the prophet Haggai and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophets, prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them. So Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak rose up and began to build the house of God which is in Jerusalem; and the prophets of God were with them, helping them" (Ezra 5:1-2).
When I saw this Scripture, the Lord spoke to my heart about the role of prophetic ministry in building—or rebuilding, as it were—God's house. I was convinced the application was a weekly meeting with the prophets in our congregation during which we could pray and seek the Lord for prophetic strategies about building the local church. That wasn't wrong, but 10 years later I see the prophetic revelation God was pouring into my heart was about more than one local church—it has to do with an awakening in America.
The Ezekiel Revelation
Another strong example of revisiting the application of your prophetic words is what I affectionately refer to as the "Ezekiel revelation." I was on a difficult missions trip in Latin America when the Lord directed me to Ezekiel 3 and then to Ezekiel 33. Ezekiel 3 is when God called Ezekiel to be watchman and gave him a mandate:
"Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: When I say to the wicked, 'You shall surely die,' and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul" (Ezek. 3:17-19).
A similar command is found in Ezekiel 33:7-9. When I read these verses the fear of the Lord struck my heart. I knew that I needed to be faithful to step out and share the prophetic warnings I was receiving during that season of my ministry, even though nobody really wanted to hear them. I had no understanding at the time that I would pen a Watchman on the Wall column that would sound the alarm in the nations of the Earth.
We Know in Part
Here's the lesson—and it's an important one for every believer whether you move in prophetic ministry, receive personal prophecy in a prayer line, or just hear the still small voice of God for yourself: We know in part and we prophesy in part (see 1 Cor. 13:9-12). We see through a glass darkly (1 Cor. 13:12). Revelation is progressive, and prophetic words can unfold over time with deeper application.
Record the prophetic words, dreams and visions you receive and seek to put the truth within them into practice today. But don't stop there. Refer back to your journals over time, and you may see clearly how the Lord has shifted dynamics to bring you into a deeper application of that prophetic revelation.
Overall, move with the Holy Spirit at the level you are now and always expect Him to take you deeper than where you are. God is able to "do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us (Eph. 3:20). Instead of limiting the application of your prophetic words, remain open to new revelations that will take you deeper into His will.
Jennifer LeClaire is news editor of Charisma. She is also director of Awakening House of Prayer in Fort Lauderdale and author of several books, including The Making of a Prophet and The Spiritual Warrior's Guide to Defeating Jezebel. You can email Jennifer at jennifer.leclaire@