Can Satan Read Our Thoughts?

Dear Jennifer,

I am currently leading your Me, Myself, and Lies study. The ladies and I are enjoying your study.  I have a question about Week 4, Day 2.  Is the statement “Every thought we think is not necessarily our own,” saying that Satan is able to read our thoughts or put thoughts into our minds?  If so, how is this accomplished?  Also, what scripture would back this up?  We had been talking about this subject some weeks ago and I know they will ask about this.

Thanks, Barb

Jennifer’s Answer

Dear Barb,

Thanks for your great question.  I wish I could give a very simple answer, but here’s my best shot!  Often, thoughts we have aren’t ones that originated with us.  For example, a mother may say to her daughter, “You are so stupid.”  The daughter may constantly think, “I am so stupid,” but that thought did not originate with her.  It originated with her mother.  She grabbed onto it and it now feels like her own.  But, it is not really her thought, it is her mother’s.

Satan is called the father of lies.  So, all lies we think about originate with him, ultimately.  I do not believe Satan can read our thoughts.  I find no Biblical support for that.  But, it is clear that Satan can greatly influence believers.  When Peter rebuked Jesus, Jesus actually acknowledged Satan in the words and response of Peter.  “But He turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind Me, Satan!  You are a hindrance to Me; for you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.’ ” (Matt.16:23 ESV)

Satan knows how people think and he knows the weakness of human beings.  But, knowing how people think and planting thoughts in their minds is not the same thing.  He is able to tempt us in our thought life because he knows how we tend to think.  Check out Acts 5:3:  “But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? ”

Hmmm…Only Jesus can read the thoughts of others (Matthew 9:4; 12:25 and Luke 9:47; 11:17).  God’s Word judges our thoughts. Every thought we have is clearly seen by God: “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight.  Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”  (Hebrews 4:12-13, NIV)

Jesus reigns in the hearts and minds of believers who surrender to Him.  The Holy Spirit fills us.  Satan tempts and tries to influence us.  He is only as powerful as God allows him to be.  We are wise to his schemes but not fearful of them because we serve a Mighty God!

So, maybe these thoughts and verses can serve to spawn discussion with your group.  Thanks for taking teaching God’s Word so seriously.  I love that!  “So that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.'” (2 Cor. 2:11, ESV)

Keep Trusting,  Jennifer

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