In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy
In Madaarij As-Saalikeen , Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [rahimahullaah] -whilst discussing the underlying reasons related to repentance- stated that a person should contemplate on the affair of the one who commands him [or her] to commit the act of disobedience and makes it fair seeming [i.e. shaytaan]. This shaytaan strives to make a person fall into seven affairs- some of which are more unpleasant than others.
He entices the person to disbelieve in Allaah, but if unsuccessful he entices the person to fall into bidah. If he is unsuccessful in this attempt to entice the person into bidah, he entices the person to commit major sins; but if unsuccessful he entices the person to accumulate minor sins. If he is unsuccessful in this attempt to entice the person to accumulate minor sins, he entices the person to be busy with permissible things that neither bring about reward nor punishment; if he is unsuccessful in this, he entices the person to perform a good deed with a lesser reward than another good deed….Then Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [rahimahullaah] said that the sixth affair is something few people realise….etc
And if this shaytaan fails in all the above six affairs, he rallies his armies to inflict various harms against the person- by the hand [i.e. physical], the tongue [i.e. through speech] and the heart [i.e. hatred, malice, envy etc]. [Abridged and paraphrased]
Madaarij As-Saalikeen 1/189-192