Webster’s Dictionary defines the word attitude as “a mental position with regard to a fact or state; a feeling or emotion toward a fact or state; an organismic state of readiness to respond in a characteristic way to a stimulus (as an object, concept, or situation). In the Greek, a word for attitude is phroneo, and one of its definitions according to Strong’s Concordance is “to be (mentally) disposed (more or less earnestly in a certain direction).” From these definitions, we can see that an attitude is a mindset or perspective that predisposes us to act a certain way. In other words, an attitude determines what actions you are likely to either take or not take. For an example, consider a laid-back attitude. If you are operating in a laid-back attitude then you are less likely to be easily angered or overreact to a situation. Your attitude determined your action. Understanding attitudes is extremely important and can help us overcome the attacks of the evil one.
In the Garden of Eden, the serpent spoke to Eve and tempted her. The Bible records, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’? The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ‘You will not surely die,’ the serpent said to the woman. ‘For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil’” (The Holy Bible, New International Version, Gen.3.1-5). We have a tendency to think from the text that the serpent only spoke to Adam and Eve. While Satan did speak to Eve with words, he actually was conveying an attitude to them. The attitude or mindset that Satan conveyed to them was a mindset which believes that you do not have to do what God wants you to do. You can do whatever you want. You can become your own god and choose for yourself. You can do things your way and still have God’s blessing all at the same time.
This example in Genesis shows us the way that Satan attacks us. He attacks us by speaking attitudes into our hearts, minds, and spirits. In Ephesians 2:1-2, Paul wrote, “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.” Some translations say in verse 2 that Satan is the “Prince and the Power” of the air. What we have to realize is that Satan the devil is also the prince and power of the air waves. Satan is constantly broadcasting attitudes into your mind like a radio station broadcasts radio waves into the air. How do these attitudes begin to manifest in our lives and how can we recognize them? Paul says in these verses that Satan is the spirit at work in those who are disobedient. The Greek word for disobedient literally means a lack of faith. Satan begins by broadcasting into your mind disbelief about God. Satan may put things into your mind, such as: “Did God really create the world?”; “Do I really have to be filled with the Spirit?”; “Is the Old Testament really relevant today?”; “Is tithing really necessary today?” Each of these is designed to do the same thing that Satan did in the Garden – doubt God. The serpent started by making Eve question whether God’s spoken word was true! He was also questioning whether God’s word was necessary for their lives! The whole purpose of these attitudes that Satan broadcasts into your mind is simply an attempt to get you to step backwards. When you give up one vital truth of the Bible, you will give up another, then another, and others until you have given up all of them. Your actions will follow and then you will start to disobey. You will start to live contrary to the Word. This is why the Greek word for disobedience can mean disbelief. The attitudes that Satan broadcasts into your mind cause you to lose faith in God’s word and they lead to disobedience.
The attitudes in your life are a powerful concept to realize. We need to recognize the attitudes we have at any given time and ask yourself: “Is this an attitude from Satan?” The only way to turn from attitudes that lead to disobedience and gain access to the tree of life is to be transformed by the renewing of your mind and change the attitude of your mind (Romans 12:1)! This can only be done through Christ. You must repent and turn back to Him! The word repentance means a change in your mind. We have to change our minds from attitudes of disobedience to attitudes of trust and faith. Let’s examine our attitudes and weed Satan’s attitudes out of our lives so that he no longer has a foothold.