All posts by Michael Santiago

Proving God’s Will

Romans 12:2 (NKJV)
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Ephesians 5:17 (NKJV)
17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NKJV)
18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

A lawyer scours through documents and evidence to defend their client. They diligently search it out with all their heart, soul, and mind. Time proceeds as they commit to research, spending plenty of resources along the way, leading to the final moment: the verdict. The audience waits in anticipation as the judge breathes, then declares, “Not Guilty”. The lawyer’s effort proved worthwhile and lives are forever changed.

The word instructs us to be transformed by the renewing of our mind, that we would prove that good and perfect will of God. As the lawyer utilized everything available for the defense of their client, so we ought to in like manner expend every resource available to prove the will of God, that we may be conformed to the image of God in Christ Jesus.

Jeremiah 29:13 (NKJV)
13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

When we embark on this proving of God’s will, we must be aware of the cost. We will only find Him when we search for Him with all of our heart. Let us return to the first commandment.

Matthew 22:37–38 (NKJV)
37 Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment.

To embark on this journey one must first know what God’s will is. In this day and age, the speaking of God’s will over our lives gets so convoluted that it ends up leading many astray in confusion. There is talk of God calling few here, God calling few there, and the one without the call remains in this continual pleading about what they should do for their life. Before I continue onto the next point, it is pivotal that we come to understand that God is with us until the very end of the age (Mt. 28:20). Knowing this, we know then that God is with us in the midst of any confusion regarding our life calling, which is falsely attributed to God’s will in church culture today. We Christians have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16) and are also being led by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8), if we truly are obedient children. With that known, we are to have faith in God and trust Him, that whatever we decide in life He is completely fine with. If He were not fine with it, don’t you think that God would intervene and lead you back to the straight path? Let us look to Joshua as an example.

In the first chapter of Joshua, the Lord speaks to Him comforting words coupled with instruction, that He (God) would be with him (Joshua) wherever he goes. Joshua then proceeds to make decisions to cross the Jordan, all without the detailed instruction of the Lord. Upon Chapter 3, the Lord speaks again, saying, “This day I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you.” Joshua knew that whatever he did, God was with him. He could not fear nor be dismayed, but walk with courage, knowing that God would be with him. In like manner, God too is with us, and so long as we abide in Christ and obey Him do we also share in the relationship that Joshua had. This relationship is actually more significant than it was with Joshua, since we as Christians have what the prophets of old have longed for: the Holy Spirit, dwelling in man! God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7). Let us cease with the continual pleading and simply walk like Christ walked. God is faithful to give us direction in His timing.

Paul speaks in Ephesians that we ought to be wise and know what the will of God is. He isn’t referring to one’s life calling, as I expressed in the previous paragraph, but to Christ (1 Thess. 5:18); we need not look elsewhere than to Christ Jesus. Christ means anointed one, and as Christians, we too are anointed to preach the gospel in our living and to usher in His Kingdom here on Earth, as it is in Heaven. To do this, we must carefully analyze the person of Jesus.

Jesus:

  • Healed the sick supernaturally. (Mark 1:30-31)
  • Came to give life, and life abundantly. (John 10:10)
  • Discerned the hearts of men. (Matthew 9:4)
  • Raised life from the dead. (John 11, Matthew 9:24)
  • Cast out devils. (Mark 1:25)
  • Dined with the sinners. (Mark 2:15)
  • Sought God long before daylight. (Mark 1:35)
  • Baptized by the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 3:16)
  • Taught, preached the gospel, and healed all kinds of sickness and disease. (Matthew 4:23)
  • Was moved by compassion. (Matthew 14:14)
  • Gave His life for us. (John 3:16)
  • Came to save the lost, not condemn them. (Matthew 18:11, Luke 9:56)

These are but some of what Jesus was and did. I encourage you to read through the gospels and focus on that which Christ did and spoke as you pursue the proving of God’s will. Let us now look at the Lord’s Prayer:

John 17:20–23 (NKJV)
Christ Prays for All Believers

20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

Can you imagine being loved in the same manner that the Father loved His Son? There’s no need to imagine the point, for He does so and to this age continues to love His children in the same manner! We as children of God have been predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ and as such, what is Christ’s is also ours!

I hope you’re fired up. I myself am hungry for more. Before we commence with seeking God in specific areas to prove His will, let us look to scripture, in particular, the great commission as told in Mark:

Mark 16:17–18 (NKJV)
17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

Are you a believer? Are you a believer that truly believes the word of God? Are these signs following you? Ask yourself that question and seriously think about it. I myself have never cast out a devil from someone, and so my prayer and communication with the Lord heavily involves that area in my pursuit of being like Christ, because Christ brought freedom to those oppressed by these devils. If Jesus says that we’ll do the same works, then I have some serious praying to do, because my life does not completely model the life of Jesus as it should.

Now, we do not have a spirit of condemnation, so this message isn’t to condemn. Instead, it ought to cause the fire in your heart to be stirred for a greater move of God. If we’re true believers, these signs shall follow!! This is a show and tell gospel, or a tell and show gospel; however you present the gospel, show the signs and wonders!

1 Corinthians 4:20 (NKJV)
20 For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.

Examine yourself, and prayerfully consider the areas where you need to work on. Jesus was a compassionate man; are you lacking compassion? Ask God to stretch you in that area, to make you like Jesus. The Christian life demands transformation. Grace empowers us to walk out the truth, to be conformed into the image of Christ. Let us seek out the Lord, and prove God’s will in Christ Jesus, having a renewed mind, to bring the love of Christ in your sphere of influence not just with word and deed, but with signs and wonders.

Lifestyle of Prayer & Intercession

In this day and age, especially so in the United States, it seems like the busyness of life is impeding us all. For the Christian, new ministry opportunities show up and suddenly we find ourselves joyful to embark on this new venture. As we do, we find that time spent in prayer begins to diminish. We end up lacking sleep, or wanting to get just enough rest to make it through the day. Where exactly do our priorities lie? Now this message is not to condemn, but to stir up your heart, to remember your first love. God delights in you, and longs to commune with you. Even our weak prayers move His heart.

What exactly goes on as we intercede for the nations? As we pray for ourselves, families, governments? Let us examine chapter 10 in the book of Daniel to get a closer look into this.

Daniel 10:12-14
“Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.”

Notice the bolded words in the verse? Daniel had entered into a 3 week prayer and fast. From the very first day, the angel declares that Daniel’s words were heard, and so he came. Now throughout these 3 weeks, the angel was in opposition against the demonic entity of the kingdom of Persia. On the very last day, we find Michael comes and helps to vanquish the opposition. As we read on we find that the Angel provides Daniel with the understanding of the vision.

Beloved, this is a clear picture of what happens when we pray. Angels come forth to bring justice. I understand that being on your knees praying for anything longer than 5 minutes can be bothersome, but please, persist in it, commit yourself wholly to God! Daniel committed himself to this for that 3 week period, and on the first day, his words were heard. On the last day, the answer was given. This goes to show that we too ought to commit our lives in like manner, eagerly expecting the same results that Daniel too had.

Need further encouragement? Let’s take a look at the book of Matthew:

Matthew 6:6
“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”

How glorious is this, that the Father would reward us openly! That when we see someone sick, in need of healing, that we would go, lay hands on them in prayer, and see them be made well! There is no mistake as to why the Disciples of Christ asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. Prayer is the source of it all, communion with the Father through Christ Jesus in the Holy Spirit. Are you sick? Pray for deliverance! Do you want to see a greater move of God in your city? Pray and go be the light!! Experiencing “demonic” attacks that don’t seem to let up? Persevere in prayer, as the devil will only continue to accuse the saints day and night until the day that he is defeated, forever!! Remember, draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Resist the Devil, and he will flee! O that we would grasp the importance of living a life of prayer.

How would it look like if you were free from all anxieties? Free from depression? Free from the stresses of your circumstances? God makes it available. (Phil. 4:6-7) It’s not too late to begin now. Speak to God, and make a commitment to start praying as Jesus prayed. That we would wake early in the morning to seek the Father. That we would seek Him in the day as Jesus did, withdrawing multiple times from the people into the wilderness to speak to the Father. That we would see Him at night before we sleep, and in all things, give Him thanks! Trust me when I tell you that your life will be forever changed as you commit to this. You may not feel any extraordinary presence of the Spirit, but carry on in faith, for Daniel did not experience an incredible presence until the very last day of the fast where the Angel appeared before Him. Who’s to say that it cannot happen to you?

1 Thessalonians 5:16 – 18
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Yesterday at Radiate, two ladies were healed of their back pain. One professed to have a back pain level of 6 (scale of 1 – 10, 10 being the worst pain) and after prayer, her leg was elongated and the pain went right down to 0. I have committed myself to spiritual gifts, and to live a lifestyle of prayer and intercession. God definitely showed up last night. If you haven’t yet attended a Radiate session, please come through, and come expectant. The goal is to teach the practical lifestyle of knowing who we are in Christ, and showing that to the world in the power of the Holy Ghost and love.

May God continue to reveal all knowledge in the understanding of Jesus Christ our Lord to you, that you would be lacking in nothing, but have everything pertaining to life and godliness. God bless you, and thank you for reading!

Healing Journal

If you’ve been attending Radiate on Thursdays and have been stepping out in praying for the sick that they may be healed, then this content is for you. If you haven’t attended Radiate but pray for the sick throughout your regular day, then this content is for you. If you do neither, I highly encourage that you begin doing so. Why, you ask?

2 Corinthians 5:21
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

John 14:12
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.

Colossians 1:27
To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Mark 16:17-18
“And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

It’s a matter of belief. It’s all in the name of Jesus Christ. We get to go forth and be a witness! If the believers in the New Testament walked sound in their identity in Christ that was backed up by the power of the Holy Spirit, we ought to do just the same!

In my year of walking this out I have seen legs grow out (correcting back pain), pain be removed from shoulders, knees, backs, and necks, along with fevers being removed from just the laying of hands (no audible prayer involved!) and so much more. In December of 2015, after attending The Jesus Conference, I felt the Lord tell me to pick up a journal to document all the people that I pray for along with the accompanying testimonies. The next day, I received a journal as a gift (talk about hearing God) and have written names ever since.

Why is it important to carry a journal?

There may be times where you may struggle with a temptation or desires that are worldly. There may be times where you won’t see a manifestation of healing, or God moments at all. In these times, it is important to give thanks to God and look over the journal as encouragement to continue persevering. It is vital to rejoice in the testimonies that have occurred. I remember not seeing any healing for a month yet still rejoiced knowing that I was diligently seeking Him. God is completely FOR you! I’ve seen many believers be encouraged by the amount of names and events in my journal. Unbelievers have even asked about the contents within which paved the way for Jesus to be glorified and the gospel to be preached!

How hungry are you?

Remember, blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled (Matthew 5:6). Don’t give up! Keep pressing in!!

Hebrews 11:6
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him

Challenge: Healing the Sick

Mark 16:17 – “And these signs shall follow them that believe…”

Mark 16:18 – “…they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”

As Christians we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to lay hands on the sick that they should recover. Jesus healed the sick willingly and also preached the Kingdom to them. Let us follow in that likeness and pray for the sick, expecting the miraculous to come upon them, and preach the Kingdom of God to them, telling them the good news of Jesus Christ!

If you have never done this, prepare to step out of your comfort zone and see God move. Here are a few quick tips if you’ve never done evangelism in this manner:

  • Wherever you are, if you notice a person with a physical disability (i.e. person walking with a cane, person on a wheel chair, cast, etc.), approach them and greet them. In the conversation, proceed with asking if you can pray for them. If they agree, go and pray over them, commanding the sickness / pain to go in Jesus’ name. If they don’t give you permission, you can either stop and tell them that you’ll be praying for them and wish them a farewell, or you can say, “Really? What’s the worst that can happen? Nothing right?” I find that this statement works in our favor as many people experienced God’s touch after yielding to prayer.
  • After the prayer, ask them to test whatever was bothering them out. Ask them at what pain level their impediment is at in a scale from 1 – 10 (1 being no change, to 10 being fully healed). Remember, Elijah prayed 7 times for the rain to come and each time he prayed he would tell the servant to check whether the rain had come.
  • Ultimately, ask Holy Spirit to direct you in all of this, and just proceed in faith. Do not doubt their healing. If there is an immediate manifestation then rejoice with them and preach the gospel to them. If there is no manifestation of healing, tell them that you’re believing in Jesus’ name that they will be made well and thank them for allowing you to pray for them.
  • Do not argue. If a conversation turns ugly, simply choose to love and do not debate.

This is a show-and-tell gospel. The signs follow the preaching of the word, and the preaching of the word can also follow after the signs. I challenge you to step out in love and please write down your thoughts, testimonies, and anything else that you deem worthy to post in the comments below!

Remember, the same Holy Spirit that was given to Jesus lives in you! You have become the righteousness of God so go forth in faith and an expectant heart!

God bless you, and let your light so shine!