Q. Is it possible for Satan to actually put thoughts in our minds? Can we tell if sinful thoughts are from ourselves or from Satan?
A. Satan cannot enter into a blood-bought, Holy Spirit sealed Christian. He can mess with us on the outside, but he cannot enter in, or put thoughts into our minds. However, he can tempt us with things that will cause us to think bad thoughts. But we always have a free-will choice.
There is, however, one who can put thoughts into our minds. He is God, through the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit in the souls of all who have trusted in Jesus and been saved by Him. When people say, “God spoke to me,” they are actually “hearing with their hearts” God’s promptings. God can move the heart and stir the soul, but always only does so according to His good will. How can we know if our thoughts are from God? Test them against Scripture to know that they are so (Acts 17:11).
Making the Right Choice
Whenever a bad thought begins to enter our minds, our choice should always be to quickly extinguish the bad thought. We do that by turning our thoughts away from the bad and by thinking on “whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report…” (Phil 4:8).
Better yet, rather than extinguishing bad thoughts once they arise, we want to stop them before they arise. We do that by renewing our minds every day by the power of God’s Word (Ro 12:2), and by remembering the Lord’s promises and His faithfulness. That helps keep our minds focused on Jesus (Heb 12:2).
With our minds renewed daily in God’s Word and strengthened by His truths, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we are able to conquer any temptation Satan might present before us and also control any fleshly desires that might lead to sinful thoughts or actions.
Promises About the Mind
Col 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
Matt 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Prov 27:12 A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.
Ro 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
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Christian apologists Alex McFarland and Shari Abbott answer some of life's many questions concerning the gospel, faith, and the Bible by sharing Truth for a New Generation and Reasons for Hope found only in Jesus. For more information about apologist, evangelist, author, and religion and culture analyst, Alex McFarland, visit www.alexmcfarland.com. For more information about Shari Abbott, executive director of Reasons for Hope* Jesus, click here.
Truth for a New Generation (TNG) serves nationwide, featuring a multi-year conference tour and student-led club program to equip teenagers, parents, grandparents, and others who lead them to live for God. TNG's mission is to creatively communicate a compelling Christian worldview to the next generation by giving answers to tough questions, based on the truths of Scripture, and to build up the Body of Christ to stand strong and boldly proclaim the gospel in the world. For more information and resources visit www.truthforanewgeneration.com.
Be Ready Always...
to give a reason for the Hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15). When you can’t share the gospel with your words, share it by leaving tracts that tell people about God's grace.
When leaving a tract, always be diligent to pray about the short gospel message. Pray that it be found by someone who is in need of Jesus’ saving grace, and pray that the person will have a tender heart and open ears to receive the gift Jesus desires to give them.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, even a small tract can help in turning a broken sinner from darkness to light.
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