Satan wants to help you—to help you sin. He is hell bent on taking you to hell with him. Thomas Books, in his book Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, drew up a list of the devices Satan uses to draw you—yes you!—to sin. Here are six of them:
He presents the bait and hides the hook. Satan shows you the pleasure and the profit that may flow out of yielding to sin, but hides the wrath and misery that will inevitably result. This is, of course, exactly what he did with Adam and Eve: he displayed the benefit of eating that fruit, but hid all the cost. “There is an opening of the mind to contemplation and joy, and there is an opening of the eyes of the body to shame and confusion. He promises them the former, but intends the latter, and so cheats them.”
He paints sin with the colors of virtue. Satan knows that if he were to present sin accurately, you would run away from it rather than be attracted to it. Therefore, he conceals sin behind the camouflage of virtue so you can more easily be overcome by it and take more immediate pleasure in committing it. When he does this, pride comes in the form of neatness, covetousness in the form of thrift, and drunkenness in the form of a good time. Whatever temptation you are prone to he will likewise dress up as a virtue.
He convinces you this is only a little sin. Satan tries to convince you the temptation you face, the sin you are drawn to, is just a small and a harmless one. He wants you to believe this is a sin you may commit without any great danger to your soul.
He shows you that even noble men have sinned while hiding from you their sorrow and repentance. Satan will let you see that greater men than you have fallen into this sin and still been loved by God. He will set before you the adultery of David, the pride of Hezekiah, the impatience of Job, the drunkenness of Noah and the blasphemy of Peter. But as he does so, he will hide from you their tears and laments and he will hide from you that they repented of those very things and would plead with you not to succumb to the same temptation.
He presents God as only and ever merciful. Satan will convince you that you do not need to be afraid of this sin, that there is no real danger in this sin, for God is full of mercy, he delights in mercy, is ready to show mercy, never wearies of mercy and is more prone to pardon than to punish. And as he presents God’s mercy, he deliberately conceals God’s justice.
He convinces you that repentance is easy. As Satan presents a temptation before you, he will try to convince you that the work of repentance is an easy work, that it is not at all difficult to turn, to confess, to be sorrowful and to beg the Lord’s pardon. And if all this is true, there is no urgent need to bother yourself with battling sin, for you can repent later just as easily as you now commit the sin.