There is something that I want to do. So, I pray about it. Every now and then someone says, unprovoked, that I should do it. I get ideas for it, plan it out a little bit maybe. I see articles about it, videos talking about it. People online and offline giving advice on whether or not to just do it; and most of the time concluding that you should indeed just do it.
How far can the devil reach into your mind? Can the devil read your mind? Does he know your thoughts? Does he know your desires?
I’m sure most people would agree that the only two entities in the cosmos that know your thoughts are you and God. Other people can infer your intentions, emotional state, and possible future choices based on past experience with you. But they can’t tell what you’re thinking at any given moment. Or, at least, they don’t KNOW what you’re thinking.
But what about the devil? He’s supposedly a fallen angel. As far as I know angels can’t read your mind, right?
Many Christians believe in guardian angels. These are angels that are assigned to us by God to watch over us. They do things like speak to us; which we might call our conscience. They might affect us or our surroundings, on God’s orders, to safeguard us from harm. And we pray (not TO the angel, btw) that they will keep us safe; or that they will take our prayers to God.
But… can they actually hear our thoughts?
Let’s say no.
So, that would mean that the devil, a fallen angel, cannot hear our thoughts. And since our thoughts are silent to him, some parts of our person are unknown to him. But what if you sold your soul to the devil?
Assuming that you actually can sell your soul to the devil, does this give him god-like powers over you? If so then he can read your every thought. But maybe he doesn’t have to read your mind…
If you were to patiently watch someone all day long, you might be able to make some assumptions about that person which turn out to be true. You might be able to use this information you have gathered to sell them something (like Google and other online advertisers do) or convince them to do something (like an evil darkweb blackmailer). So, maybe the devil doesn’t need to read your mind, he just needs to watch you. Seeing as he is an eternal, ethereal being he can go wherever he wants, see whatever he wants, and gather tons of information on any individual. He can then use this information to influence them to do what he wants.
So once the devil finds out what you desire, especially if it’s not exactly moral, he has one mission: to drive you as far into it as he can in order to drive you as far from God as possible. He has other tricks to keep you from God, but the hard part is figuring out how to drag you away in the first place. And he doesn’t have to read your mind to do that.
In case I haven’t said it yet, the devil doesn’t HAVE to read your mind. He can just watch your actions.
And God watches your actions, too. But He’s more concerned with allowing you to choose following His Son, which He hopes you do but doesn’t try to force you or trick you into it; while always being ready to welcome you home and forgive you for all your sins.
But God CAN read your thoughts… which sounds freaky, and is why I choose to think of it more like, “God knows my thoughts.” And since He knows my thoughts he can send me chances to pursue righteousness, follow Jesus’ teachings, help my brothers and sisters in Christ, and in general just do the right thing.
He can put someone in my path, He can reveal a web article to me, or He can have a YouTuber I watch say something that speaks to me.
However… the devil could arrange this as well. Remember, all the devil wants is to drag us down. And he is patient. He will put all his dominoes in line and wait for me to sit in place. Then, he will push the first domino and watch as I fall.
Although… while God does things in a similar way, setting up dominoes and all, God’s dominoes end up placing someone in my path, putting an article in my face, or a speech or phrase in my ear. It’s up to me to choose what happens next.
God has the ability to talk to me.
But I guess the devil does, too…
So how do you discern where your thoughts, drive, motivations, inspirations, desires, and dreams come from? How do you tell if the things you feel like you’re being driven towards are coming at you from above, or trying to drag you down below?
Long story short: it doesn’t matter.
Just do what you do for the glory of God, in Jesus’ name to spread the Gospel and lead people to Christ. If that’s your focus you can’t possibly be doing the devil’s work.
P.S. – that’s the most semi-colons I think I’ve ever used.