Satan is neither human nor divine, so what is he? In the blog “Can the Devil Read My Mind,” R.C. Sproul says Satan is a “creature.”
“He is a creature with the limitations that are found normally with creatureliness. He is an angel,” Sproul writes.
While we cannot write an exhaustive list of Satan’s powers, Sproul says we can make a couple guesses of what Satan can’t do.
Satan can’t read minds.
Since Satan is not divine, he is not omniscient. Only God knows your thoughts before you think them.
“There is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether” (Ps. 139:4).
Satan can’t be in more than one place at a time.
As Sproul writes, “He’s a creature, and creatures by definition are limited spatially and temporally.”
Again, Satan is supernatural, but not divine. While Satan has powers that humans do not, his powers pale in comparison to God, who is omnipresent.
This is not to say that Satan is weak. Christians need stand vigilant against Satan, being aware of the methods he uses to entice people to sin.
Crosswalk.com contributor Os Hillman wrote that Satan tempts us in three ways, according to scripture.
- Lust of the flesh
- Lust of the eyes
- Pride of life
He explains 1 John 2:14-17, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, (sexual sin, gluttony) the lust of the eyes, (materialism, greed, a consumptive lifestyle) and the pride of life—(I-am-better-than-others attitude, arrogance, unteachable spirit, independence, no need of others) is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
Hillman continues, “Satan wants to steal, kill and destroy our lives. He wants to make your past your future.”
Thankfully, Christians are not left defenseless against Satan’s ploys.
Dr. Robert Jeffress writes that Christians need to take three steps of action “when Satan comes knocking.”
First, we must refuse to feel guilty for sinful thoughts entering our minds. Shame is what Satan wants us to feel. It keeps us from coming to God in repentance because we convince ourselves that God could not love a sinful person.
Second, we must refuse to let sinful thoughts linger. Christians need to rid our minds of sinful thoughts before they become obsessions that we eventually act upon.
Finally, replace sinful thoughts with Godly thoughts. Dismissing a thought is not enough. When Jesus was tempted by Satan, he responded with more powerful thoughts and commandments from God. We must do the same, being prepared with scripture that points us in God’s direction.
Carrie Dedrick is the Family Editor of Crosswalk.com.
Publication date: October 9, 2015