Satan has one long term goal. This is his ultimate ambition. This goal is to see humans thrown into the hellfire and prevented from entering paradise. To achieve his goal, Shaytan first lures mankind into committing Shirk and Kufr through invoking dead, practicing magic etc., because Shirk is the greatest sin. Anyone who dies upon Shirk will not be forgiven, nor will he ever be taken out of Hell-fire.
If he cannot manage to deceive people into committing Shirk and Kufr, he does not give up. He causes people to follow bidah (innovations in the religion). One who sins, knows that he is disobeying Allah and some time, he may turn to Allah and seek forgiveness and be pardoned. But he, who practices Bidah, deems his action to be a form of worship to Allah and thus, never even thinks of repentance!
If Shaytan fails at causing people to follow innovations, he will move on to calling them to major sins. If the believer keeps steadfast, Shaytan is still not discouraged, he calls them to minor sins.
Allah’s Messenger sallallahu alaihe wassallam warned us concerning minor sins by giving an example of how a great fire can be kindled by means of small wooden sticks collected in a place. Similarly, minor sins if allowed to accumulate, might destroy the sinner.
If the believer still emerges safe from his traps, Shaytan seeks to keep him occupied with permissible matters, like sleeping, eating, pursuing worldly affairs, etc. Spending time and effort in these will neither earn him reward nor bring punishment. He will, however, miss the rewards he would have gained if he had spent his time in performing good deeds.
If the believing slave is still not deceived and manages his time well, Shaytan keeps him busy with less virtuous deeds instead of what is more preferable and rewarding in order for him to miss the reward of the best and most virtuous deed.
If after employing all kinds of temptations and deceptive arguments, Shaytan still does not succeed in diverting the son of Adam from his religious commitments, he resorts to corrupt his acts of worship and deprive him from the rewards. He stirs up doubts and makes the person anxious and uncertain.
If the person still remains undefeated, Shaytan’s next step is to harm the person, for example, by causing him to be persecuted, or by distorting his reputation. By this trick Shaytan intends to discourage the person from his religious commitment.
What we can conclude is that if Satan fails at one stage, he does not give up and keeps trying, and lies in wait along the path of goodness as he had avowed, “… surely I will sit and wait against them on Your Straight Path. Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left, and You will not find most of them as thankful ones.” Surah al-A’raf 16-17.
Wassalamu alaikum wa rahamtullahe wabarakatuhu