“God chooses grace rather than works”(Ephesians 2:8-9)
This means that if the weak come to Him, He would help their weakness just as He would help the strong. God knows we are weak – that is why He chooses grace. If God had chosen works rather than grace, man would have the autonomy to choose whom to help with his works and how to do His works.
The battle would be for the strongest leaving no room for people like me (T.B. Joshua). The race would be for the swiftest leaving no room for people like me (T.B. Joshua).”
Isaiah 6:8 – “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
T.B. Joshua is just one of those who have submitted to the will of God. He acknowledges that if God had chosen works rather than grace, no one would merit His mercy.
In a sermon titled, “By His Grace”, he explained:“Wisdom in the practical sense of ability and skill cannot guarantee success in life. It is the goodness of our cause that interests God more than physical and mental disposition. This explains why the weak people like me who are without great strength, a smooth tongue, fast legs or high learning should ever remain grateful to God”.
Right from the outset of his incredible journey, the hand of God has been clearly evident in the life of Prophet T.B. Joshua. He was born on June 12th, 1963 in the small village of Arigidi in Akoko, Ondo State, Nigeria. The pregnancy period of his mother was by no means ordinary, as the baby remained in her womb for 15 months before he was born. Significantly, almost a hundred years prior to his birth, it had been prophesied that a young man would emerge from the poor Oosin quarters and that God would use him mightily. Another remarkable event occurred when he was three days old, as a large boulder crashed through the roof of his house, missing the baby by mere inches. This incident led to his mother naming him, ‘Temitope’, meaning, ‘What You (God) have done for me is worthy of thanks’.
During his elementary education at St. Stephen’s Anglican primary school, Arigidi, he was the leader of the Student Christian fellowship. He was the smallest in the class but led the prayer during the school devotions and was known as ‘small pastor’. He was unable to complete his secondary education due to poverty.
Reflecting on his early life, he said: “I found myself in a family background that irritated me. My natural circumstance of birth was poverty. I come from a very humble background. Poverty loomed large in the family. The little education I had was through self-effort. I know many people with a similar circumstance of birth who did otherwise. They allowed their circumstance to influence their will. Their dreams crashed on the rocks of disappointment, failure and setback …In those early years of my life, we knew we would be blamed for what we gave our attention to.”
In an article written by T.B. Joshua himself, titled, ‘Everything Big Starts Little’, he explains more…
Very early in life, he knew how much he needed God, so he did not allow the situation around him to affect his relationship with God. As described in his own words, T.B. Joshua recounts how he discovered the direction of God’s calling for his life:
Life After Life
“I was in a trance for three consecutive days, then I saw a hand that pointed a Bible to my heart and the Bible entered my heart and my former heart seemed to immerse with the Bible immediately. Then the awareness came and I saw the apostles and prophets of old with someone whose head I could not see because He was tall to the heaven and suspended, which I believe was our Lord Jesus Christ sitting in their midst. I also saw myself in their midst. After a while, I saw a hand of the same tall man, I could not behold His face, which was glittering with an unimaginable light, tall to the high heavens and suspended in the air. But other apostles I could see their faces, particularly Apostles Peter and Paul, Prophets Moses, Elijah and others. Their names were boldly written on their chests.
I heard a voice saying, “I am your God; I am giving you a divine commission to go and carry out the work of the Heavenly Father”. At the same time, the same hand of the tall man gave me a small cross and a big Bible, bigger than the one that entered my heart with a promise that as I keep pressing in His time and name, I would be given a bigger cross but if I fail the opposite would occur. I also heard a voice of the same tall man, I could not see His head, saying, I am the Lord your God who was and who is – Jesus Christ, giving orders to all the apostles and prophets. The same voice said to me, “I would show you the wonderful ways I would reveal myself through you, in teaching, preaching, miracles, signs and wonders for the salvation of souls”.
Since then, I have been receiving in my vision, every year according to my faithfulness to God, a bigger cross that means to me more responsibilities.
The Bible that entered my heart symbolized Spirit and life (The Holy Spirit). God’s Word is Spirit and life. He does nothing without His Word. The book of Romans 8:16 says, God’s Spirit joins Himself to our spirit to declare that we are children of God. The Father gave the Spirit to make us like His Son.
Father, thank You for Your Spirit, fill us with Your love and power, change us into Christ’s own image, day by day and hour by hour.
God Himself performs the divine anointing on all who have the wonderful privilege of becoming His children (2 Corinthians 1:21-23 and Luke 24:48-49).
Obedient to the divine call, T.B. Joshua, started a ministry with a mere eight members, prophetically naming it, ‘The Synagogue, Church of All Nations’ of which he is the General Overseer. Today, by the grace of God, as a man of faith, he is both a representative of God and of people. The ministry started very small, but has now grown far beyond the shores of Nigeria.
Evidently, T.B. Joshua has come a long way, full of troubles and hurdles, but all the way long, there has been an unseen hand of God intervening in his affairs. In every situation, he has remained focused on what God has to say.
For those whose lives are centred in Christ Jesus, the best is always yet to come…