I discovered an old interview with Father Gabriele Amorth on the internet concerning Satan and exorcism. It is an interesting article, but this particular piece near the end jumped out at me.
How does the Devil go about seducing men and women?
AMORTH: His strategy is monotonous. I have told him so and he admits it … He convinces people that there is no hell, that there is no sin, just one more experience to live. Lust, success and power are the three great passions on which the Devil insists.
I am reminded of Jesus’ three temptations in the desert, Luke 4:1-13.
“Command this stone to become bread” tempts Jesus to use his power to satisfy his desire. Disordered desires and wants are lusts.
All the kingdoms of this world would be given to Jesus if He worshiped Satan. This at first seems like a temptation to power, but it fits better with the idea of success. What do we give up in order to be successful, to be the best, to win? What do we worship, what do we idolize, what do we sell our soul for in attempts to be successful? How do I become fractured, less integrated, less whole, compromised, in an attempt to gain some thing?
Finally, Satan tries to get Jesus to put God to the test. That’s where the power comes in, to use God as if He was an object for our manipulation and control. Do we try to use and manipulate people for our own success and desires?
Notice what is hidden between the words of lust, success and power—pride. Did you also notice that all three are temporary? The devil has nothing to offer that is permanent or eternal, except spiritual death.
And what is the antidote to pride? Humility and love.
Know your enemy.