Episode 6: (Humility- Read what Apostle Ayo Babalola did when his first daughter-Funmilayo died under a provocative situation and what he said before he was unjustly sentenced to 6 months imprisonment in 1932.
Written by Aduralere Oluwagbohunmi
While the 1930 revival at Oke Ooye was going on in Ilesha, Iroyin Ilesha (Ilesha news) went to the revival ground and made a remarkable comment on Ayo Babalola as follow:
“This young man ( i.e Babalola) rarely eats. Two pieces of biscuit and a loaf of bread of about 1kobo is all he requires for “a whole day”. And he sleeps very little as well. He would pray till around 2: a.m in the night thereafter he would move out into the open from where he would pray till day break.
What is most surprising to us is that many wicked persons (witches, wizards etc) who drink the ‘water of life’ must confess all the evils they have done, how many people they have killed in their meeting and how many people they have eaten in their meeting. We have a record of 5 persons already who have confessed their evil and witchcraft after drinking the water..
It is indeed strange to us that this revivalist (Babalola) does not in any way exalt himself or count himself to be anything. His clothes consist of only “buba” and shorts without cap. He never gets angry with anybody. There was a time he was pushed against a tree but he never got angry he simply smiled and pleading with them to be patient with him. If he receives calls from both rich and poor man at the same time he would honour the poor man first.”
That was the way the newspaper described him. How many prophets of our days can be described this way?
Anointing! What a powerful phenomenon? A young prophet recently declared that he had performed more miracles than Jesus Christ. And this ‘young guy’ had not witnessed 1% of what God used Babalola to achieve in 1930 alone.
Another minister, after ministering under the unction of the Holy Ghost recently declared that the “whole world is under his feet”, thereby placing himself in the same level with God.
We all know that no one can use natural ability to produce supernatural result. While can’t we simply give the glory back to the giver of the anointing? But instead of returning the glory to the giver of the anointing, we logically and smartly share in it by using various techniques. There is a tragedy that is currently afflicting great men of God in our days; we know how to start in the spirit and finish our ministration in the flesh. We have not learned how not to share God’s glory with him.
Manifestation of anointing and the power of God should humble us but reverse is the case today. However, the same anointing that makes people fall down during your ministration can also destroy you if you allow pride to rule your mind.
King Herod was blessed with the power of oratory and on a particular day, he spoke under this anointing and those that listened to his speech said, this is not the voice of man but of god. And instead of rejecting the praise of men and return the glory to God, he took it but he was destroyed on the same pulpit.
As a man of power, it could be said of Babalola that pride could not be traced to him. He possessed the spirit of humility. For instance, when Babalola relocated from Oke-oye to Efon Alaye in 1931 and started another revival there, a lot of people were expecting him to share the testimonies from the great revival that took place at Ilesha with them but to their disappointment, he never talked about them. He was a man that knew “how not to share the glory with God”.
Even though he was blessed with so much power that commanded respect both in heaven and on earth, he never saw himself as ‘anything’ before men and before God.” Evidently God used Babalola more than anyone in his generation but it made no difference to him. He was never on high horse. Even though he was the general evangelist, he never usurped authority from the pastors he worked with. He would always give them preferential treatment by allowing them to preach while he listened to them. Such grace is rare in our generation today.
But what does the scripture says about humility?
“Do you think that the scripture saith in vain, the spirit that dweller in us luster to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisted the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble”
“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up-
From all indications, Jesus Christ worked in power and did great wonders here on earth. I have always wondered why God gave him so much power. Was it because he was the only begotten son of God? I also think about his anointing which John3:34 described as “anointing without measure”. These factors, of course are contributory factors but Apostle Paul in his letter to the Philippians gave us another perspective as to why God gave Jesus so much power.
Paul’s explanation becomes necessary because why we cannot be like Jesus by our ascribed status, – Jesus “the only begotten son of God’ and we cannot all receive anointing without measure like Jesus. But here is one eternal truth: we can all be like Jesus and receive and maintain power with humility.
Humility is the very reason why God gave Jesus so much power.
Philippians 2: 5-11
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
What can you see from the above scriptures?
Humility is not being respectful or kneeling down to greet people. There are so many arrogant minds that are physically or culturally respectful.
Humility is a mind-set. Humility is a spirit.
Humility is not assigning reputation to ourselves when God has graciously promoted us. Jesus was God in human flesh yet he did “thought it not robbery to be equal with God. He said though “I am one with my father but my Father is greater than I “. Humility is seeing us the way God sees us. As leaders, God sees us as servants. He made you as a leader but in practical living he wants us to serve others. He wants us to serve and put other first.
And the greatest form of humility is to obey God when it is not convenient for us. It was said of Jesus- “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross”. He had power to command thousands of angels to kill those who wanted to kill him but out of humility, he gave himself up to death. Humility is not fighting over your legal right. I want to site an example here.
For instance, Babalola was unjustly arrested and prosecuted for preaching against witches. Two women accused Babalola of calling them witches, thereby making them to take a specifically banned poisoned (obo leaf) to exonerate themselves of the accusation. Even though that everyone knew that there is no way you will take this obo leaf and live to witness in the law court.
He was framed and falsely accused. He was subsequently arrested at Ilorin and transferred to Benin. Babalola was charged to court based on this accusation. Many Christians were outraged and wanted to hire attorneys to defend him in the court but Babalola rejected the idea of hiring attorneys to defend him. In March 1932, he was sentenced to six months imprisonment. Babalola served his jail term before he was released in October 1932.
Oh, you think that is ignorance? But a man that knew what God could do does not need any man to defend him. He went to the prison and won many souls for Christ inside the prison. He met a man in the prison who later insisted that Babalola must go with him to the Eastern part of Nigeria and he went with him to conduct apostolic revival there.
Another incident that showcased him as an epitome of humility was when his son in-law abused his daughter during a fight. Babalola was praying at Ori Oke Iddo Ajinnare when her first daughter Funmilayo (Mrs. Olowola) was brought in critical condition. She had had brawl with her husband which inflicted severe injury on her. Although prayer was made for her but she still died. Some aggrieved members of the family had threatened to sue the husband but he refused, saying he would not go to law with anybody. Some of his followers went there with sticks to beat the husband but Babablola wouldn’t allow them to do such thing. He came down from the mountain, preached at the funeral service and returned to the mountain to continue with his prayer.
When the Spirit of God takes away anger, annoyance and the urge to revenge from you; that is when you are truly humble. Humility is putting God first in the face of provocation. No wonder God gave Babalola name that cut across nations and generations. 60 years after his death, everywhere you go, it is still “God of Ayo Babalola”.
May we all receive grace to serve God and men with a humble spirit. If you humble yourself God will lift you up. Ask for the spirit of humility before you ask for power.
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Photo caption; Apostle Ayo Babalola’s tomb at Efon Alaaye, Ekiti, Ekiti State.