Holiness to the Lord
A question that I have pondered for many years is whether or not satan can read minds. It seems obvious that, being that he is exponentially more intelligent than human beings, he can certainly guess fairly accurately at what we are thinking.
Undoubtedly, demons have the ability to minutely observe our biofeedback to ascertain how we respond to external stimulus, as well as to how readily we receive demonic suggestions made to the mind when they attempt to insert their thoughts.
I have heard preachers avow that satan can't read minds, and I've wondered how they can assume that. If mere human beings, with the aid of sophisticated technology, can perform mind–reading, why would satan not be able to? I have come to a conclusion, though; there is a certain condition under which satan cannot read minds, and that is at the times when a person's thoughts are pure and holy.
Exodus 28:36 – 38 says, "And you shall make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD. And you shall put it on a blue lace that it may be upon the miter; upon the forefront of the miter it shall be. And it shall be upon Aaron's forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD."
In my youth, when I confided to a saintly Christian woman that I had disturbing thoughts, she referred me to this Scripture. I afterwards would imagine HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD inscribed across my forehead, guarding my mind when I was assaulted by the fiery darts of the enemy. The problems in my thought life did not disappear immediately, but I feel sure that applying the Word in this way to my mind helped to bring about the deliverance that I needed. It amounted to wearing the helmet of salvation that is spoken of in the New Testament.
It occurred to me that, if we keep our minds trained upon the Lord, satan and his cohorts will find it repugnant to try to intrude into such a holy place. The Secret Place, which is the Presence of the Lord, is the only place where God's saints can achieve complete privacy from unholy intruders.
I had a dream some years ago wherein I and many others were herded into a mountain by aliens. I thought to my heart, "These aliens should know about the great Creator and the marvellous thing that He has done in sending Jesus." So I told them about God and His Son Yeshua. They sneered at me. That was when I knew that they were simply demons posing as aliens who could conquer humans. They then set up a machine that could read my thoughts, and I figured, "Well, I will give them something to see that they won't like!" I concentrated all my thoughts on Yeshua. Sure enough, they didn't like it and they fell away from me, enabling me to escape.
Christians tend to let satan intrude into their thoughts with far too much freedom. Maybe they don't look at porn, but just watching regular television is enough to give satan a lot of access. TV and radio programming is rife with subtle advertising tricks and actively promotes many ideas that are totally contrary to the teaching of the Bible.
What about the books that we read? How particular are we? Is there anything in those books that open up a hospitable place in our minds for spores of demonic influence to attach?
What about the songs that we listen to? Do they promote purity or do they encourage the idea that fornication, under some circumstances, is a beautiful thing? Do the songs encourage respect for the law and for authority? Do the songs overtly or covertly promote drug use? Do the songs use profanity? Do the songs direct one's attention to God, or do they dismiss Him from the equation of life?
Magazines show ads for soap that make use of nude bodies to convey to our simple minds the idea of someone taking a bath (as if we don't know that we have to take our clothes off to bathe or shower). Studies show that pictures glanced at for only seconds become firmly entrenched in the subconscious and years later still produce the association with the product that the advertisers wished to convey, nurturing lust or envy or fear as motivations for sales.
At the turn of the 20th century when the Judeo–Christian ethic was still firmly entrenched in our culture, pictures of naked bodies would have been a scandal. Now we just flip pages hardly giving a thought to such crass types of advertising, priding ourselves that we aren't such prudes as to be bothered by nudity.
Consider, though, the origin of the term "prude", derived from the word "prudence," which means "foresight leading a person to avoid error or danger" and "the virtue by which the practical reason distinguishes the things useful for salvation" and "practical discretion." (The New Lexicon Webster's Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English Language)
It puts me in mind of Ephesians 5:14 – 15 that says, "… Awake you that sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light. See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise." Going back to the Latin roots of the word "circumspectly," we see a picture of looking (spect) and around (circum), which means looking around very carefully, as one would when picking their way through a dangerous bog. Practicing prudence.
There might not be much that we can do about how our minds are ambushed by billboards, but surely when it comes to choosing what we read or look at or listen to, we ought to choose things that will bring us closer to Yeshua and make it easier to think on Him, rather than put distance between us and the Beloved.
It might be beyond our strength to suddenly cut ourselves off totally from impure influences that interfere with the goal of thinking only holy thoughts, but surely we can make progress by steadily reducing those influences from our lives.
Your word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against you.