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:
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).
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…