Chekov: “Shields up, Captain?”
Valeris: “Captain, our shields!”
Chekov: “Shields up, Captain?”
– “STVI:TUC”, Stardate 9523.8
The above lines need no explanation for those familiar with Star Trek’s television series and the blockbuster movies based on the series. Countless times, the USS Enterprise crew pleaded with Captain Kirk to give the command to raise the shield of protection. And numerous times, Captain Kirk ordered to raise the shield when it was too late to save the spaceship and its crew from harm. Humorously, Star Trek fans have asked, “Why doesn’t the Enterprise just run with shields up all the time?” One response argued that the USS Enterprise captain and crew did not want to appear offensive to those they would encounter. Spock would have sneered at that argument; I, too, sneer at such reasoning.
Why would anyone be offended at measures of defense to protect my family and me? Of course, the level of protection does depend on the environment where a person lives. For instance, one home may have not so visible protection, while another home may be covered in barbwire. Yet, in this modern way of living, we all have some form of protection; we have multiple locks on our doors and windows, surveillance security systems. And let us not forget Fido, the poodle with the multi-colored mohawk haircut standing guard at the front door. It is an essential part of living to live in safety, and God has given us grace for our protection – “…by grace we are saved…” Ephesians 2:8 (King James Version). The English word saved in Biblical `Greek is sozo means to deliver or to protect. Protection for you and me is paramount to God.
“Through Him we also have access by faith into this [remarkable state of] grace in which we [firmly and safely and securely] stand….” Romans 5:2 (Amplified)
My husband coined this word “Grace-a-fication“ during one of our morning devotions. And for a while, we would declare, “Grace-a-fication is at work in all areas of our lives.” Grammar buffs will recognize the suffix ‘fication to mean the act of making or processing the noun-of-action it is attached. For example, clarification – the act of clarifying, that is, to make things clear. Thus, Larry Huggins’ coined-word “grace-a-fication” is the act of grace at work in our lives.
The Apostle of Grace, Paul, taught grace: he used the word grace more than one hundred times in his epistles. Paul depended on grace, entirely. Paul tells the Corinthians that while in Asia, he faced more trouble than he could handle, even to the point that he despaired of life. And he admits that in desperation, he begged God to relieve him from the attacks of the enemy. And Jesus Christ’s response to his prayer is quite interesting:
But He replied: “My grace provision is always enough for you, for the power [delegated divine omnipotence] finds full strength with weakness [progressive phases of suffering]. 2 Corinthians 12:9 (Kenneth Wuest Bible Translation).
Too often, grace is merely thought of as “God’s unmerited favor.” I firmly believe that that causal definition of grace has done a great disservice to the Body of Christ. When the Apostle begged for deliverance from the torments of the enemy, God did not say to him, “You do not deserve My help, but I can help you.” What God said to Paul is, “My divine influence in your life is unfailing strength, to be strong, to suffice, to be more than enough to defend you and raise a barrier to ward off any attacks of the enemy!” That is why the Apostle decided to trust Christ’s grace so that Christ’s omnipotence – tremendously unlimited power – might work in his life. The work of grace.
You and I must make a life decision. Shall we follow the example of Star Trek Captain Kirk, that is, going from crisis to crisis because our shield is disabled? Or, shall we follow the example of the Apostle Paul and completely trust in the grace of God because by grace we are rescued, healed, and made to do well.
“Shield of faith in grace is up, Captain, and it will remain engaged! Grace-a-fication!
Loretta Huggins, born and raised in San Francisco, CA, has served in the ministry with her husband, Larry Huggins since 1989: administrator, hostess, event planner, and teacher. She has traveled to eighteen countries. She is the co-founder and co-pastor of ZChurch.