Paul demonstrated that an interaction between our sin natures and Satan’s temptations. The context is Paul’s advice in 1 Corinthians 7:5-6 to married couples who needed to separate for a short time.

Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

The “lack of self control” that Satan tempts obviously refers to getting emotionally or sexually involved with another person not their spouse. Think about it. The temptation to adultery occurs mostly in our thought life.

Jesus outlined His plan to go to Jerusalem and die on a cross for the redemption of mankind (Mark 8:31). Satan devoted much of His work on derailing God’s plan. He infiltrated Peter’s thoughts and even used Peter’s own mouth in an attempt to get Jesus to reevaluate His plan: “... Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke Him” (Mark 8:32).

Jesus was not fooled. He knew that Peter’s words were implanted into his mind by Satan himself: “Get behind me, Satan! You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men” (Mark 8:33).

Some members in the newly established Jerusalem Church were selling their possessions and bringing the proceeds for distribution to the poor. One member, Ananias, sold some land and lied about the selling price — a portion of which he held secretly back for himself. Obviously tempted by Satan in a mental struggle, Ananias announced to Peter that He was bringing it all to Jesus! Peter wasn’t fooled. He knew that this was Satan’s work. Luke recorded the encounter in Acts 5:3: “Then Peter said, ‘Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?’” Ananias dropped dead on the spot.

Notice Peter’s observation that the source of the lying was Satan depositing the words of deceit directly into Ananias’ “heart.” In Scripture the term, “heart,” refers often to the mind. Yielding our thought lives to Satan risks diabolical destruction.

Allow me to share a few implications if, as I believe, Satan can read our minds.

  • I believe that Satan can read our thoughts and impute his words and ideas directly into our minds.
  • We do not need to pray out loud for Satan to hear us rebuking and resisting him.
  • When Satan hears what we’re praying he will attempt to confuse, frustrate, stymie and distract our prayers and thus marginalize God’s intentions for us and for our circumstances.
  • I believe that spiritual warfare attacks are always concerned with “taking our minds captive to do Satan’s will.” Satan wants to control our minds, wills and emotions so that he can entrap us. The Lord Jesus Christ will never subjugate our minds to His control. He grants us free will to make our own decisions. This is why Jesus wants us in control of our thinking, unhindered by Satan, so that we are free to follow His leadership, Word and guidance.
  • We must seek freedom at all costs. Remember, every area of our lives not fully submitted to the Holy Spirit is open to attack and control by a demonic spirit.
  • We must guard our minds rigorously and remain vigilant against satanically inspired lies and deceit. Job, for example, was totally deceived. He never did figure out that it was actually Satan destroying and destructing him.

Always keep in mind the warning in 1 Peter 5:8-9.