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Does Satan attack our thoughts? My answer is an emphatic yes. While Satan has no authority to control our minds, there is evidence from Scripture that he uses his enticing appeal to lead a believer into disobedience. Genesis 3:6 says "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat." Genesis 3:1-5 describes the process of enticement before the woman finally gives in. The woman in her perfect nature was lured into imagination before she fell headlong into disobedience! This is the danger we too face. Genesis 6:5-6 says "And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.." The above scripture describes the depravity of the Noah generation which was so given to evil that God decided to decimate it from the face of the earth. Why? They gave in to satanic influence and no longer feared or obeyed God. Is this not a matching description of our evil society today? Whereas the enemy can invade our minds with evil thoughts, God has given us the spirit of discernment by which we can distinguish between the voice of the Spirit and the voice of Satan [see Matthew 16:23; Mark 8:3 concerning Jesus's rebuke of Peter] and to take decisive action to wad off such an affront by the enemy. During Jesus temptation in the wilderness Satan attempted to lead him into disobedience but Jesus firmly stood on the word of God and overcame (Matthew 4:1-11). Later in the Book of Acts we learn that Ananias and Saphira had given in to Satan's deceit. Peter's rebuke in Acts 5:3 is instructive: "Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?" The couple were believers but they chose to listen to the voice of Satan and lied to God. This incident clearly teaches us that Satan can whisper his lies into our minds but we have a choice to obey or disobey God. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 says "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." This passage describes our warfare. We shall overcome Satan's temptations through Christ's word and by His Spirit. We have at our disposal the arsenal with which to resist the devil so that he will flee (James 4:7). However, each of us has to make a conscious decision for obedience. Our minds have not been "programmed" to fight Satan. I have heard some believers argue that the devil cannot access their minds because they have been delivered by Christ. Well, Ananias was a believer too and so was Peter and the other disciples [except Judas] of whom Christ declared as sanctified by the truth (John 17:17,19). The secret to overcoming evil thoughts is to stay close to the word of God and in fellowship with His Spirit through prayer. Bare human imagination or self confidence is a recipe for disaster. Believers are continually at war and this takes various forms including the battle for our minds (Ephesians 6:10-17).
Although we cannot be dogmatic, it would appear that neither Satan nor his demons have the ability to read our thoughts. Consider the descriptive names ascribed to Satan. He is called Satan (Resister), Devil (Slanderer), Serpent (synonymous with Deceiver), Tempter, and Liar. (Job 1:6; Matthew 4:3; John 8:44; 2 Corinthians 11:3; Revelation 12:9) None of these descriptive names imply that Satan has the ability to read minds. By way of contrast, however, Jehovah God is described as “the examiner of hearts.” (Proverbs 17:3; 1 Samuel 16:7; 1 Chronicles 29:17) “There is not a creation that is not manifest to his [Jehovah’s] sight,” declares Hebrews 4:13, “but all things are naked and openly exposed to the eyes of him with whom we have an accounting.” Not surprisingly, Jehovah has granted the ability to examine hearts to his Son, Jesus. The resurrected Jesus declared: “I am he who searches the kidneys and hearts, and I will give to you individually according to your deeds.”—Revelation 2:23. The Bible does not say that Satan is able to search men’s hearts and minds. This is significant, inasmuch as the apostle Paul assures us that Christians “are not ignorant of [Satan’s] designs.” (2 Corinthians 2:11) So we need not fear that Satan has some extraordinary ability of which we are entirely unaware. Nevertheless, this is not to say that our Adversary cannot discern our weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Satan has had centuries to study human behavior. He does not need to be able to read minds to discern what patterns of behavior we set, to observe what entertainment we pursue, or to listen to what things we talk about, and so forth. Our facial expressions and posture may also give clues as to what we are thinking or feeling. By and large, though, Satan uses the same devices that he used in the garden of Eden—lies, deception, and misinformation. (Genesis 3:1-5) While Christians need not fear that Satan will read their minds, they do have reason to be concerned about what thoughts Satan might try to put into their minds. He wants Christians to become “corrupted in mind and despoiled of the truth.” (1 Timothy 6:5) Little wonder that Satan’s world has unleashed a flood of corrupting information and entertainment. To withstand this onslaught, Christians must protect their minds by wearing “the helmet of salvation.” (Ephesians 6:17) They do this by filling their minds with Bible truths and avoiding unnecessary contact with the unsavory elements of Satan’s world. Satan is a formidable foe. But we need not have a morbid fear of him or his demons. James 4:7 assures us: “Oppose the Devil, and he will flee from you.” If we follow this counsel, we will be able to declare, like Jesus, that Satan has no hold on us.—John 14:30.
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