Although he is a fallen angel (Revelation 12:7-10), the devil has great powers. We read in 2 kings 19:35 that one angel destroyed 185,000 of Israel’s enemies in one day. Yet, in spite of these powers, the devil can’t read our minds. And this is clear from the book of Job:
“6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.
7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?
10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.
12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD” (Job 1:6-12).
If Satan read the mind and heart of Job, he would have known that Job would never curse God.
However, because the devil has been observing humans for thousands of years, he has become expert in predicting human behavior. The devil has a fairly good idea on how humans will react to temptation, after all, he has been tempting humans since the Garden of Eden. Through observation and experience, he can guess with a high degree of accuracy just what humans are thinking.
Therefore, believers should “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). And they can be sure that through God they can defeat the devil “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
In His service,