Here are 3 signs Satan is trying to mess with your head.
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1. Satan Will Try to Mess with Your Head By Corrupting Your Thoughts with False Doctrines
The devil is consistently seen in the Scriptures as the father of lies and as a deceiver (John 8:44). His main way to assault people is not through supernatural dark magic. Rather, the devil’s main attack is to try to mess with your thoughts and teach you lies about God. 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 (NIV) states:
But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.”
Paul’s emphasis is not on Eve being deceived; rather, Paul mentions Eve to show us “how” she was deceived. Notice it says, “just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.”
In this passage we are warned about the danger of believing lies about Jesus, believing lies about the Holy Spirit, and believing lies about the gospel. Eve was led astray by listening to the lies of the enemy which then corrupted her thoughts and led her to sin. This is the same tactic the devil seeks to use against all of us, not just Eve.
So the devil could be messing with your thoughts if you are being tempted to believe false doctrines that do not align with the Scriptures.
2. The Devil Could Be Messing with Your Head if You Are Holding onto a Grudge
We’ve all been there before. Someone wrongs us and then we play out all of these scenarios in our heads of what we will say to them if we ever see them again. While it might feel good in the moment to imagine getting revenge on someone, the person we are hurting the most when we hold onto a grudge is ourselves. Notice the link between Satan outsmarting us through our lack of unforgiveness that is highlighted in 2 Corinthians 2:10-11. Paul states:
Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.”
When we refuse to forgive people and instead we nurse a grudge against someone in our minds, this can be a sign that Satan is messing with our thoughts. While refusing to forgive someone who wronged you is one way to give the devil a foothold in your life, it is also possible to create a grudge against people simply because you don’t like them. You don’t have to like everyone, but when we allow ourselves to dislike people and look down on them, we are giving the devil a foothold. This is exactly what happened to Judas.
In John 13 we see Judas get up from the table and head out into the night to betray Jesus. However, one chapter before this in John 12:4-7 it states:
But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, ‘Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?’ He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial.’”
If the devil has ever successfully messed with someone’s head and led them into sin, surely it was with Judas. Judas’ betrayal of Jesus was not something that happened in one moment. Satan had gained a foothold over Judas by corrupting his thoughts over time. The larger Judas’ grudge against Jesus grew, the more Judas was susceptible to the devil’s schemes.
Likewise, if we want to avoid getting manipulated by the enemy, we must refuse to form grudges against people for any reason.
3. The Devil Will Mess with Your Head Through Pride
Perhaps the greatest access point for the devil into the human mind is pride. When we allow ourselves to be exalted in our own minds, we are vulnerable to the devil’s manipulation. When our thoughts shift away from exalting God and towards exalting ourselves, our minds are being corrupted. Notice the link between pride and Satan attacking us found in 1 Peter 5:5-8 (NIV). It states:
All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
It’s very interesting that this same link can also be found in James 4:6-7. It also states:
“‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’ Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
In both 1 Peter 5:5-8 and James 4:6-7, we are warned about the dangers of pride and then instantly also warned about the attacks of the enemy. Clearly there is a link. So if you are beginning to think too highly or yourself, this could be a sign that Satan is messing with your head.
Thankfully by the power of the Holy Spirit we can humbly submit to God and honor him above all things. When we submit to God, which means we are humble towards God, we are then given the power to resist the devil who then must flee from us as James 4:7 explains.
So while pride is a gateway for the enemy to gain access into our lives, humility towards God is like an impenetrable barrier that will keep the enemy out of our lives.