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Satan Reads Our Minds?|
Q. Can Satan or demons read our minds? Can he interfere with or stop our prayers? How can we fight against Satan if he is a spiritual force or intelligence who invades our brains? Just how are we supposed to fight that kind of onslaught?
Satan is Subject to Locale
Satan is not omniscient or omnipotent - meaning that he doesn't know all things and neither can he be in several places at once. That is why he "prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (1 Pet. 5:8).
That is because he is subject to locale. Job 1:7 tells us that Satan roams about on the earth, walking around on it - meaning that he has locality. In other words, he is an entity who moves from place to place seeking to hurt believers.
We also know that the whole world lies in his power (1 John 5:19). That's a lot of power!
From Daniel chapter 4 and passages from an extra biblical source, The Book of Enoch, we know that there are angels called "Watchers." The Watchers and other angels observe mankind closely studying his every move and response to stimuli.
It is in this sense they can "read" our minds just as an astute wife can "read" her husband's mind or her children's minds. They are masters of psychological warfare.
Keep some things Quiet
For this reason some theologians suggest that Christians not pray everything out loud or journal highly sensitive things. They suggest we keep a general list of things to journal - while adding details in our minds.
Many also suggest that we read Scripture out loud when we feel that we are under attack. Playing lively Praise Hymns such as those used in "Maranatha" music is a joyful way to hear Scripture and to change the atmosphere around you.
Remember that Satan and his workers have observed each of us since birth. They know we are tempted by "the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life"... (1 John 2:16).
These traits (lust, coveting, and boasting) give rise to greed, covetousness, and boasting about one's possessions, degrees and accomplishments whether through our own sinful nature or through Satan's prodding.
Like laboratory rats, evil powers note our every move, psychological and physical responses. From our past responses they can predict our future responses to whatever they throw our way.
This is why we are told we must use God's "mighty weapons, not mere worldly weapons, to knock down the Devil's strongholds. With these weapons we break down every proud argument that keeps people from knowing God. With these weapons we conquer their rebellious ideas, and we teach them to obey Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:4-5, NLT).
We purpose to take every thought captive to Christ.
As a reminder, a stronghold consists of "logismos." This Greek word embraces the idea of worldviews, belief systems, prejudices, our difficulties with pride, and schemes or maneuvers of Satan. Again, we need to take "every thought captive to the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor. 10:5).
Satan interferes with our Prayer
It appears that Satan and his forces can hinder prayer to some extent - or at least delay answers to prayer.
For example, Daniel 10:12-13 says that an answer to Daniel's prayer was delayed for three weeks because the prince of Persia fought against an angel bringing Daniel an answer. In fact, the archangel Michael had to come to the aid of the angel bringing Daniel an answer before he could get through to Daniel.
This is a spooky revelation. But, it should encourage us not to feel defeated when we don't receive immediate answers to prayer.
We don't fight Humans
We need to grasp the fact that we are not fighting against humans - it only seems that way.
Our true fight is against "the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms" (Eph. 6:12, NLT).
Shocked by Parallel World
I think we will be shocked by the scope of this parallel world (or worlds) of hostile forces on earth once we are finally in heaven with our glorified (supernatural) bodies.
Like Elisha we will then know that we didn't need to be afraid because "those who are with us are more than those who are with them" (2 Kings 6:16, ESV).
I also think it is fascinating that physicists and quantum mechanics state that we live in a "multiverse" - layers upon layers of parallel universes and worlds. Clearly, Jesus told us that His Kingdom is not of this world. Perhaps this is more literal than we can imagine.
Cling to John 4:4
Be sure to cling to the New Testament knowledge that "greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world" (1 John 4:4, NASB). This is a good verse to memorize.
Respect all Authorities - even Bad Ones
Last, Scripture suggests that we not directly accuse Satan. "But even Michael, one of the mightiest of the angels, did not dare accuse Satan of blasphemy, but simply said, 'The Lord rebuke you'" (Jude verse 9).
We see pastor after pastor violating this suggestion. "I rebuke you Satan" is a common response we hear on T.V. This violates Jude v. 9.
Philippians 4 Think List
Remember your Philippians 4 "think" list - "Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise" (Phil. 4:8, NLT).
This is how we fight the seeming mind-reading abilities of Satan and his evil followers. He can't read your mind. But, he sure knows how to make life difficult!
Eastman, Mark and Chuck Missler. 1997. Alien encounters. (tape set). Coeur d'Alene, ID: Koinonia House.
Ross, Hugh. 1996. Beyond the cosmos. Colorado Springs: NavPress.
Tipler, Frank J. 2007. The physics of Christianity. N.Y.: Doubleday.
Authors Valorie Mays Emilio holds an MA in History from UCLA focusing upon Christian origins. Ken received the MA in Biblical Studies from Louisiana Baptist University. They know they are just a "vapor" that appears for a little while and must make the most of days remaining (Jas 4:14; Eph 5:15).
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