“Let yourself be a beloved of God. The way to get God and be with Him forever is what I am telling you here – have more time for God, less time for yourself.”
– Meeting with Disciples 18.11.2015
A mentor is someone who is divinely sent to help you fulfil your destiny in Christ because if you want to become God’s person, you have to follow His process.
What can we say about a man who made us see that it is possible to be led by the Spirit?
Many pastors focus on building large churches, great establishments, powerful ministries; our mentor, Prophet TB Joshua (12 June 1963 – 5 June 2021) focused on building people.
Jesus said in Matthew 13:44-46: “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”
... a friend of Jesus.
The millions all over the world whose lives have been changed by this humble servant of God from Arigidi, Akoko, Ondo State, Nigeria who founded The SCOAN and Emmanuel TV would agree with us that Prophet TB Joshua lived his life as if he needed God more than you and me. Despite being the most persecuted pastor in his generation (Luke 2:34), he never let go of that joy of discovering the greatest treasure – to be a friend of Jesus. And that made all the difference.
We can never forget the words he spoke to us soon after we met him, “The thought of mind I have had since I was small is to be a friend of Jesus. Still, the thought of mind I have now is to be His closest.” It was that heart decision that fueled everything he did and the reason for his living legacy founded on God’s living Word.
Just as Prophet Elijah was sent to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers (Malachi 4:6), Prophet TB Joshua was sent to tell the sweet story of Jesus Christ, to demonstrate His power to save, deliver, heal, and to forgive. Quite simply, to point people to salvation and eternal life. He was a prophet to bring us back to our first love – the revelation of Christ – in the power of the Holy Spirit (Revelation 2:5-7). Throughout his ministry, he taught us that repentance is the only way of receiving God’s mercy.
From the first message he preached in 1989 when he started The SCOAN with eight members, “Jesus is coming soon; if you don’t repent, the coming of Jesus has no meaning in your life,” till his last words on 5 June 2021, “Watch and pray,” his words teach us to measure our lives in the light of eternity. He lived his life as if he needed God more than anyone. His concern was for us to make Heaven.
He taught us that if we are to know a successful life, we must learn to plant our strength, our love, our kindness, our faithfulness, our honesty and our patience, to see our trials as friends that create the beauty in our journey to eternity – a journey of righteousness. From him we saw daily that building righteousness is step by step, thought by thought, decision by decision. No shortcut, plans, methods or machinery but simply the Saviour becoming more and we becoming less – a change not in the substance but of the quality of the soul.
Such a life of prayer costs. We saw and witnessed the hours, days and years he spent in the presence of God, getting his heart in tune for prayer – prayer in the power of the Holy Spirit. As he told us himself in a disciple meeting on 7 July 2017, “You are not great in the sight of God because you live in the bush and eat locusts and honey; you are great in the eyes of God because you have no heart for offence.”
That is it – the secret – a free spirit. Only a free spirit attracts the attention of God. As simple as it may seem, it is a lifetime assignment. That is how he lived his life and that is how we must speak what is burning in our hearts – to share what we ourselves have received (Jeremiah 20:9). For it is only when today’s church realises that the spirit of man is the fountain of faith, that the Holy Spirit will be involved in our affairs.
As Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 1:4-5, we know and believe that unlikely as we are, in His mercy God chose us because the Gospel came to us not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. He told us that one day we would teach this message all over the world – that truly, the Word of God is the living presence of that divine power if that Word comes from the heart.