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This sentence in the Lord’s Prayer is the one that I understand the least: “Lead us not into temptation.” Why is this difficult to understand? James 1:13 tells us that God tempts no one. We should be happy about that. God tempting us would give us the idea that He is tempting us with something evil. Since He is not evil, He can’t do that. One of the meanings of the Greek word that is translated here “temptation”, “peirasmos,” is also translated test or trial. Therefore, it would read, “Lead us not into trial or testing.” Since the Lord doesn’t tempt anyone, I’m going to lean toward this meaning—but I’m not a Greek scholar by any stretch of the imagination. All I do is use the resources that I have.

The Lord does test us. Look at this passage from the Old Testament where the Lord told Israel, “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the LORD your God is testing you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 13:1–3). Once, when I read this, I thought, “Hmm. The Lord allowed false prophets to perform signs and wonders to test Israel. He wouldn’t do that today, would He?” I have to admit, even though I believe that the gifts of the Spirit are still operative, this makes me wonder about some of the weird, not-in-the-Bible things we hear about these days. Is the Lord testing us to determine if we love Him more than signs and wonders? There is a weird tendency to go after these things. However, I don’t want to get off point. The point is that the Lord will allow things to happen that will test us.

The Bible says that the reason the Lord tests us is for our good. “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness” (James 1:2–3). However, this still doesn’t answer the question, “Why should we pray that the Lord wouldn’t lead us to such a testing? Well, perhaps it has to do with not going to a place where we would fail when so led and so tempted. This makes sense because it is followed by, “but deliver us from evil.” The two requests are connected. Jesus seems to be teaching us to pray that when we are tempted, or even led to a place of trial or temptation by His Spirit, that the devil won’t achieve a victory as a result of that trial.

The last sentence of the Lord’s Prayer is omitted from the newest Bible translations, but I’m going to include it because I don’t find it to be anti-biblical in any way: “For Yours is the kingdom and the glory and the power forever.” “Yours is the kingdom.” It is His kingdom, not ours. He reigns, we don’t. On its face, this seems simple enough, and I don’t think any Christian would disagree with this truth. However, as is often the case with us in-process believers, what we say and how we live and think are two different things. Let’s be transparent here. This is something we all struggle with. On a simple, day-to-day basis, we resist giving the Lord control of our lives—allowing Him to reign. It is difficult to give up everything to Him.

“Yours is the glory.” The glory is His: the glory for all that exists, the glory for all that He has created, the glory for all that He has done. Right now, He is the only one receiving glory from the inhabitants of heaven. No one abiding in that eternal place is impressed with anything that has been done on earth by people. Perhaps we should begin to add our voices to theirs and express the truth that all the glory for everything done here belongs to Him alone. I’m glad that Jesus didn’t add, “And thank You, Father, for making it possible for people to glorify themselves a little, too.”

The last part is simply three words: “forever and ever.” The Father’s kingdom will be forever and ever. There will be no change of administration or rulership. No coups will overthrow Him. His reign is eternal. The kingdoms of men are temporary. God’s kingdom will last forever. Christians will be part of God’s kingdom a trillion years from now. Not just part of it—sons, daughters and co-heirs with Christ in it. Now, honestly, I have little idea what that means, but surely it is good and glorious, because He is the good and gracious King.

God’s power will last forever. God’s power is so immense that we cannot comprehend it. It is also everlasting. The book of Revelation tells us that in heaven, there will be no need for lamps or the sun anymore because the Lord will be our light: “And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever” (Revelation 22:5 ESV). I have no doubt in my mind that He will be able to pull this off with no blackouts, brownouts, or interruptions of service. His power will never end.

Finally, His glory is forever. Jack Hayford once said that the reason the inhabitants in heaven are continually giving praise to God is because He is always doing wondrous things. Right now, as I type this, I have little doubt that, all over the world, people are being healed, delivered, saved, and called. Not only that, at this very moment, He is upholding all things in the universe by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:3). You and I can do none of these things. He will receive glory eternally, not us.

Father, thank You for your eternal kingdom, power, and glory. Our words are inadequate in expressing how amazing You are.

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