Satan is the original obstructionist and the archetype of intellectual wickedness. Jesus said about him, “[He] does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).
In the book of Revelation, the Lord states that Satan is the “deceiver of the whole world” (12:9). Paul wrote about him, “The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Cor 4:4).
The names attached to the devil demonstrate his perversity: “enemy,” “evil one,” “spirit of the antichrist,” “great dragon,” “liar,” “deceiver,” “murderer,” “adversary,” “tempter,” “Beelzebul,” “angel of light,” “lawless one,” “prince of demons,” and “Mammon.” The devil is the master obfuscator, for he insinuated to Eve, “Did God actually say?” (Gen 3:1).
Likewise, his attributes and authority manifest his vast influence: “The devil took him [Jesus] to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, ‘All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me’” (Matt 4: 8–9). Other passages testify to his influence in the world. The devil is “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31), “god of this world” (2 Cor 4:4), and as John said, “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19). Satan has “the power of death” (Heb 2:14).
How, then, do we withstand him? Since his main strategy is deception and falsehood, it is imperative that we become very careful with our minds. We should evaluate every intellectual influence we permit to enter our consciousness. We should change what we focus on, listen to, watch, and read―if it does not cause us to grow in faith, understanding, and wisdom.
We must learn the biblical worldview. We ought to understand the worldviews that capture the minds of unbelievers. Most importantly, we should ask God for a “renewal of our mind” (Rom 12:2), so that we can become productive agents of change.
Practically speaking, we could join or create a Bible study, participate in church education, and form book clubs and movie discussions.
Honestly, many of us should simply return to primary school in theology and the Bible. We must become students of the smartest Being in the universe.
Basically, we should ask God to teach us to love him with our mind, which Jesus told us is part of the greatest commandment (Mark 12:28–30).