Dr. C. S. Lovett’s
MARANATHA FAMILY NEWSLETTER
DEALING WITH THE DEVIL
If you had an enemy who could see every thought that passed through your head, would he not be the worst enemy you could imagine? What leverage he’d have over you. What an awesome advantage. You would feel helpless and you would be helpless. You do have such an enemy—SATAN! And he sees every one of your thoughts.
Now God sees every thought that passes through your head. Does that bother you? Probably not, for the Bible makes it very clear that “All things are uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Heb. 4:13). God doesn’t miss a single idea flowing through our minds. This is the deeper meaning of Jesus’s words, “Even the very hairs on your head are numbered” (Matt. 10:30).
God monitors our lives so closely, not a single thought escapes His attention. However, I should add, though He sees the worst in us, He thinks the best of us. That’s why we don’t mind having our thoughts exposed to Him.
BUT SATAN IS A DIFFERENT MATTER
When it comes to your thoughts, he sees what God sees. Can you handle that truth? Does it jar you to realize the devil knows exactly what you’re thinking, every minute of the day and night? Some believers are not troubled by this. They feel it is unimportant that the devil is a spectator of our thought life.
A lady from Pennsylvania wrote expressing her disappointment over something that happened during their prayer meeting. Someone in the group had brought up the matter of Satan being able to read people’s minds, putting the question this way: “Since thoughts are spirit and Satan is a spirit-being, how can our thoughts be hidden from him?”
I thought that was a sharp question, but apparently, the pastor hadn’t thought it through, so he replied:
“Oh no, the devil cannot see what we’re thinking. Before he can know what is going on inside us, we have to announce it in words so that he can hear it. Until we speak, he is totally in the dark as to what is going on in our minds.”
THE PASTOR’S BLUNDER
That pastor didn’t realize it, but the person asking the question provided him with a big clue to the answer. The moment he heard the words, “Satan is a spirit-being,” the pastor should have pounced on that truth and taken it from there. No one likes to believe his thought life is exposed to an enemy. That probably explains why many pastors teach as did this pastor. But what an error that is. One truth exposes this error—Satan is a spirit-being. He does not operate in a body. To be limited to a body would put him out of business and reduce him to the human level. He’d be powerless.
As it is, he has no body, no teeth to bite anyone, no hands to hit anyone, and no feet to kick anyone. He can’t hurt you physically, except as he puts it in the heart of someone to harm you. Only as they in turn act on the idea he plants in their minds, will they damage you.
THE DEVIL’S ADVANTAGE
To operate in the spirit gives one an awesome advantage. By the way, when I say operate in the spirit, I am not referring to the Holy Spirit, but the spirit realm—the spirit world. There are all sorts of beings operating in the spirit realm—angels, demons, as well as the Lord. The apostle Paul insists a hierarchy of demonic forces is arrayed against us.
Here’s his description of the satanic corporation that operates in the spirit:
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12).
Observe that these are spiritual forces. They are NOT physical. We can’t see them. There is no way we can meet them in open face-to-face combat. No one, other than Jesus, has seen the devil. As a spirit-being, Satan’s operation is wholly in the spirit where he leads a vast army of unseen warriors or demons if you prefer. Paul calls him the “God of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4).
Since thoughts are spirit, the only place the devil can attack us is in our minds. As a spirit being, this is the only place he can work. The Bible describes him as “the tempter” (1 Thess. 3:5). But how can he tempt anyone without knowing what is going on in the very place where temptation begins? A man must THINK evil before he does it. Is that not so? And when James 1:14 says, “Every man is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lusts and enticed,” he’s speaking of the mind, the imagination. Therefore to tempt us, it is clear the devil must work in our minds.
BUT SOMEONE ASKS
“Does any Bible passage speak directly to Satan’s ability to read people’s thoughts and do something with them?” The answer is “Yes!” Turn to Matthew 13 where the Lord is instructing His disciples in the way God’s Word is sown in men’s hearts. Here is the passage:
“When ANYONE hears the Word of the kingdom and DOES NOT UNDERSTAND IT, the evil one comes and SNATCHES AWAY what has been sown in his heart” (vs. 19).
Note the verse says “ANYONE,” (man, woman, child, saved, unsaved, anyone) when ANYONE hears the Word but doesn’t understand it, Satan is able to snatch it from his mind. Ask yourself, “How can Satan do that? Where does he have to be to know whether a person UNDERSTANDS SOMETHING or not?” Think hard. Where does he have to be? He has to be able to look inside a person’s understanding. How else could he know?
Let me insert a caution—it is dangerous to assume the devil’s power to influence our thinking is any less than that of the Holy Spirit. It isn’t. In fact, the devil’s power is often greater, because his suggestions appeal to our FLESH. His suggestions always have to do with fun, good times, going places, enjoying things you can buy with money, delicious foods, and sensual pleasures.
The Holy Spirit’s suggestions have to do with SPIRITUAL THINGS, promises concerning the future and righteousness. And you know how it is—“Out of sight, out of mind!” With the devil’s suggestions having to do with NOW—who focuses on the unseen ideas of the Holy Spirit?
HERE’S SOMETHING DEEPER
If Satan couldn’t read your mind, he couldn’t tempt you and get away with it. Here’s why: The devil wouldn’t know WHEN to insert his suggestions into our thought stream or what those suggestions should be. Can you see that? He just can’t drop any old suggestion into minds any time he pleases. He’d give himself away if he did that.
Consider how POWERLESS Satan would be if he couldn’t read your mind? He wouldn’t be able to do anything to you. It is his ability to plant ideas in your mind in such a way so that you think they are your own ideas. That’s what makes him such a powerful enemy.
Few Christians have any idea how powerful he is. They like to think because the Lord Jesus lives inside them, they enjoy AUTOMATIC protection against the devil. But it’s just not so. Yes, 1st John 4:4 says the One Who lives inside us is greater than the one who attacks us, but we’ve always known that.
Of course, Jesus is greater than Satan, but knowing that doesn’t change anything. The knowledge of Jesus’ overwhelming power doesn’t make us immune to satanic attack. It was Jesus’ own idea to USE the devil and permit him to exert his evil influence in our minds. It is part of God’s plan to make us overcomers. And RESISTING the devil’s suggestion is part of that plan.
NO ONE IS IMMUNE
When believers think they are immune to Satan, the devil is able to lead them about by the nose. I’ll mention a few things Satan does to Bible-believing Christians, particularly those who lean on 1st John 4:4 for anti-Satan protection. I think you’ll recognize many dedicated believers as unsuspecting victims:
- Leads believers into debt by generating cravings for things.
- Causes husbands and wives to focus on each other’s faults, thus generating trouble between them.
- Makes Christians fat by putting pressure on their appetites.
- Stirs up mischief in the hearts of our children.
- Lures Christians into watching the wrong kinds of TV, movies, internet, etc.
- Cheating on your taxes.
- Becoming feisty and contentious over certain Bible doctrines.
- Worry over personal and financial problems to the point of distraction.
- Triggers unclean scenes in the imagination.
- Stirs up anger, bitterness, jealousy, and temper.
I could go on and on, for Satan has thousands of wiles.
But what a difference when those same Christians learn how to recognize Satan’s attacks and handle them according to God’s Word. What a burden is lifted from their lives as in the case of this dear brother:
“Dr. Lovett, I’m so glad you wrote DEALING WITH THE DEVIL. Until I read that book, I thought all those awful things taking place in my mind originated with me. What a relief to learn I am not the source of all that ugly stuff. Now that I have caught Satan in the act of planting things in my mind, I now know without a doubt who the real author of that rotten stuff is.”
Let me ask: Are you tired of having Satan put dreadful things into your mind? Does he ever make you worry, overeat, or get upset? Have you noticed his stepped-up activity, since his time is short? Then you must read, DEALING WITH THE DEVIL.
Will Satan try to keep you from this knowledge? Of course, that’s his job. And you can watch him do it in your own mind. If you can draw enough strength from the Lord to brush aside his suggestions and act on the Holy Spirit’s suggestion, you’ll acquire the skill of. . .
MAKING SATAN FLEE!
C. S. Lovett
© 2018 Personal Christianity. All rights reserved.
Dr. Lovett’s best-selling book DEALING WITH THE DEVIL has been updated and revised and is now available on Amazon.com. It is a paperback book, 241 pages, and sells for $14.99. If you are interested, you can go directly to Amazon.com and see more information HERE. This book and THE PREPARED LIFE book may also be available by ordering through your Christian bookstore.
PRAYER ANSWERED: “Your book, DEALING WITH THE DEVIL, was an answer to a recent prayer in which I asked the Lord to show me why I have such a difficult time remaining faithful and putting Him first. Within days, a friend loaned me your book. I put your exercise into practice and it works! The best part was when I caught Satan in the act, rebuked him, sent him away, gave him Scripture, and immediately the Holy Spirit filled my mind. How exciting victory in Jesus really is!” (From D.P.—GA).
WAR MANUAL: “DEALING WITH THE DEVIL has been a tremendous help to me. It is just what I needed—a war manual to fight Satan in practical situations.” (From E.E.—MN).
SATAN REVEALED: “What a powerful book that reveals Satan and how he acts in the life of a Christian. Next, to the Bible, this book of yours, DEALING WITH THE DEVIL, is the most important book I have ever read!” (From H.L.—NC).
Personal Christianity, PO Box 918, Middleton, ID 83644
“Preparing for His Appearing” Since 1951