The Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks of the temptation of Jesus by Satan, saying: “Thus Satan tried to induce Jesus to throw himself down from the Temple and, by this gesture, force God to act.”
It is an interesting interpretation to consider that Satan tried to force God to act. The clarity of that statement struck me as I began to wonder if we, too, at times, try to force God to act.
Perhaps when we try to make deals with God so that an outcome will go our way, we are trying to force God to act.
Maybe when we use our prayer time to try to manipulate God into doing our will, we are trying to force God to act.
The Catechism (2119) goes on to say that when we try to tempt God, it “wounds the respect and trust we owe our Creator and Lord. It always harbors doubt about his love, his providence, and his power.”
Ask yourself where you have doubted God’s love, providence or power.
If we completely trust God, then why would we try to force God to act in accordance with our own designs?
It becomes very clear that when we try to force God to act, we are revealing a lack of trust in Him, for if we have full confidence in Him, then we will submit to that, rather than think we know better.
Lent is a good time to ask ourselves just how much we actually trust in God and His love and compassion.