Can Satan Read Our Minds?

Question:  I believe that Satan cannot possess me but can he put thoughts in my head. It seems that he can, but if so how? How would he know my thoughts or control them without being inside of me?

Answer:  I wish I knew all the answers to these questions.  It could be that he knows human beings well enough from our behavior, having watched us for many millennia.  This enables him to predict our thoughts to a fair degree.  I don’t believe he can read them, but I can’t prove that.  It seems too God-like a thing for him to be able to do. 

How he influences our thoughts, I don’t know.  It has seemed from my experience that he or demons can create an ambiance, air, feeling of something like fear or shame or whatever, that we pick up on and adopt as our own.  But when we take authority over the unclean spirit or spirits in the name of Jesus the ambiance disappears.  We may have some of our own legitimate fear, shame, or whatever, that still remains, but it seems to have been magnified by what Satan or a demon does.

Perhaps you’ve been around someone who was down or fearful and it began to arouse in you the same feeling.  This may be what is going on when demons purposely seek to sway us in wrong responses to the situations in our lives.  They don’t want us to see the truth that God is with us and that we need not despair, or be distraught with fear, or controlled by lust, or whatever other inhibiting attitude or concern they might induce us to.  Standing on the truth of God is the key to overcoming their evil influence (Ephesians 6:10-18).

The corollary to this truth is that we can be people of positive influence in the lives of others as we display courage, faith, purity and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Randall Johnson


3 thoughts on “Can Satan Read Our Minds?

  1. Would it be helpful to consider whether or not angels can read our minds? Of all the scriptures that speak about angels, I can’t remember any of them being able to control humans’ thoughts. And since Satan is “just” a fallen angel, it seems he wouldn’t be able to control our thoughts either.

    The only problem with this argument is it is an argument from silence, based on what the text DOESN’T say. Not very sure footing…

    • There are, of course, different kinds or levels of control. When we say that someone made us angry we are really saying they knew how to push our emotional buttons and we’d like to say they controlled our emotional response, but we know that was really in our control. You’re right, Satan does not control our minds. But he definitely knows our buttons and presses them most effectively. This is why we need to know God’s heart, as Jesus did, and know God’s Word, as Jesus did. God speaks to the deepest “buttons” in us, the ones that really matter.

      Satan knows we long for control in our lives apart from God. We want to be our own God just as he does. God knows we long even more deeply to be in awe of our Creator and in submission to His love. Jesus’ heart responded to those words of God that said, “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God,” and “You shall not test the Lord your God,” and “Him only shall you worship.”

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