It is said that the devil can’t know our thoughts. I don’t have a testimony of this, but I have no reason to think it isn’t true. For one, I’ve noticed that I sometimes get temptations at crazily ineffective moments. I’ll be staring into space at the train station, musing on the Battle of Chickamauga, say, and being moved thereby– maybe there’s a hint of a tear in the corner of my eye–and I’ll get a brief impulse that says, Life isn’t worth it, throw yourself in front of the train. What? No.
Anyway, a couple of days ago I happened to be musing, but this time on the devil not knowing our thoughts. Mostly I just came up with questions and, truth be told, I’ll be ashamed of you all if I get more than ten comments on this. Thinking about the devil is a pure waste of time (especially as done by me) and spiritually dangerous to boot. Come to think of it, I’m ashamed of myself just for writing this post. I guess I’ll just spit out what I have to say and get out of here.
If the devil can’t read thoughts, can he suggest them? What exactly does temptation consist of, if not? [This is assuming that the devil exists, which I think is evident. If you think differently, keep it to yourself.]
Why can’t the devil read thoughts? Is it simply because the Father forbade it as a protection to us? [I'm assuming here that there are a great many spiritual trials that the Father simply forbids Satan to try on us. Is there an alternate view in which the limits to the devil's power are mostly 'natural'?] If it’s not just because the Father forbids it, if Satan is incapable of reading thoughts, then what does that imply? Is there some way in which we can plausibly understand spirits as relating to the temporal world in which they would not be able to percieve the electromechanical activity in our brains? So does that suggest that our brain processes are too complex to be intelligible to an outside observer who doesn’t know everything, or does it suggest that some of our conscious activity takes place only in our spirit and isn’t mirrored in our brains?
Finally, and most importantly (the only question that might, might, justify taking this post a handful of comments), why does any of this matter? Why have we been informed us that Satan and his ilk can’t read our minds?