Question: “Can Satan read our minds / know our thoughts?”
First, it is important for us to remember that Satan is not omnipresent
– he cannot be in more than one place at a time. Only God is everywhere, only
God knows everything, while Satan must rely on his army of demons to do his
Can Satan and/or his demons read our minds? Scripture does not
say specifically whether or not Satan can read our minds. The Bible does teach
us that Satan indeed is very powerful. Likely he was the highest of all the
fallen angels, as he was persuasive enough to convince one third of the angels
to join him in his rebellion (Revelation 12:4). Even after his fall from heaven, not
even Michael the archangel dared to confront him without the Lord’s help (Jude 9). Satan is the “the ruler of the kingdom of the
air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient” (Ephesians 2:2b).
Believers are exhorted “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7b).
The Bible gives us no reason to
believe Satan and his demons can read our minds. Clearly that would take a
measure of omnipresence and omniscience, which they do not have. However, Satan
and his demons have been observing and tempting human beings for thousands of
years. In addition, they can overhear our speech when we talk to others (and to
ourselves!). Surely they have learned a few things about us over the years. Even
without the ability to know our thoughts, they can probably make a well-educated
guess as to what we are thinking, and then attempt to use it to their advantage.
That is why we are commanded to “Submit yourselves, then, to God” (James 4:7a), before we are told to “Resist the devil” (James 4:7b).
The Serpent of Paradise by Erwin Lutzer.