FIRST RIVER: EXPERIENCE OF JOY
The first channel or river is the spiritual experience of joy. A prophetic word, more often than not, in the New Testament church bring joy to the hearer of the prophecy. Whether it is a corporate prophecy or a personal prophecy, most prophetic words give joy to the believer. It lifts up their spirits, and their inner core are touched. In the same way, the experience of joy can also move a person to prophesy. The Spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus, and so the prophet can move into this prophetic element. In the Bible, Hannah experienced great joy that her prayers were answered (1 Sam. 2). She is filled with joy and gratitude to the Lord, after all her years of crying before the Lord to have a baby. God heard her cry and gave her a son named Samuel. Hannah is filled with the joy of the Lord (1 Sam 2:1). When Hannah was praying to God, she moved into a prophetic space, because of this great joy. Her prophetic word came from the first river—the experience of joy.
“My heart exults in the Lord; my strength is exalted in my God.My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in my victory. (1 Samuel 2:1)
Hannah was not a prophet. She was a godly mother. A person does not need to be a prophet to move into the Spirit of prophecy, as we’ve covered in the chapter dedicated to this level of prophecy. As a prophet, one could move into the levels that are stronger. Since Hannah was not a prophet, she can only move into the lower levels of prophecy, but she was able to tap into one of the channels of the rivers of prophecy because of her joy in the Lord.
In the first verse, Hannah said that her joy in the Lord allows her to smile at her enemies, which is not something a person can normally do. In the chapter before this, Hannah was crying because she was so sad with her case. However, God turned her mourning into joy. In this moment, her heart was overflowing with joy for the Lord’s grace upon her life. She says she can smile at her enemies because she has experienced the goodness of God. In the same way, believers can prophesy in the Spirit of prophecy when God answers their prayers or when they become a recipient of God’s mercy and grace. In great joy, mouths can open up in prophecy.
The Lord! His adversaries shall be shattered;
the Most High will thunder in heaven.
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth;
he will give strength to his king,
and exalt the power of his anointed.” (1 Samuel 2:10)
In verse 10, Hannah moved into the height of prophecy. She is prophesying how God will give strength to His king and exalt the horn of His anointed. How do you think Hannah knew that a king was going to come? During her time, there were no kings, only judges. She moved into the river of prophecy in her experience of joy in God. She prophesied what her son would do, anoint the first king of Israel, Saul. Hannah was able to flow in the first river of prophecy, and out of her lips she declared things that probably did not even make sense ever to her.
Hannah prophesied of a coming king and how her son, Samuel would anoint the first one. Samuel was the last judge in Israel. Through him, Israel transitioned from having judges to having kings. Hannah did not hold any spiritual office, but she spoke a prophetic utterance because she worshipped God.
In Luke 1:46, we see another example of a person flowing in the river of joy in the prophetic realm. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was filled with joy and filled with the Spirit. Mary was not a prophet, yet she loved God. She worshipped God with this song. She prophesied something about herself when she said, “for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed” (Lk. 1:48).
In Luke 1, we see another example of someone flowing in the river of joy—Zechariah. He was filled with the Holy Spirit and was able to prophesy. An angel prophesied to him about the coming of John the Baptist. However, because he doubted the prophetic word of the Angel Gabriel, he has become mute until the time the prophecy has been fulfilled (Lk. 1:20).
After being mute for months, Zechariah’s heart was filled with joy when he was able to finally speak. He praised God, and the prophecies started to come out of his mouth.
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the
Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to his people
by the forgiveness of their sins.
By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in
the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Experience the Power of Prophecy as a gift to open your mind to receive the Mind of Christ.
Have you ever experienced being unable to prophesy? Are you feeling prophetically mute like Zechariah? Break this “stuckness” by beginning to praise God for everything good in your life. What prophetic utterances came out of this praise experience?
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