"The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds...and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."
(2 Corinthians 10:4-5)
Nehemiah faced tremendous opposition to rebuilding the wall, but he knew that their God would fight for them (see v. 20). This didn’t mean that he didn’t take all possible action (v. 13, 18) to ensure success. And it certainly didn’t stop him from exhorting his fellow builders (v. 14).
Very often I ask God to do something in my life but neglect to take steps to accomplish the objective. The Ephesians passage tells us to be “strong in the Lord” by “putting on the full armor of God” (vv. 10-11). It is God’s armor, but we do have to put it on. This is spiritual warfare against the forces of evil which would have us neglect our God-given means of defense.
Some have found it helpful to consciously put on each piece of armor in our minds, taking up the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. We then find that the Spirit brings relevant verses into our minds through the day. As with Nehemiah, we don’t know where the enemy will strike next. But we do know and affirm what Nehemiah declared: the Lord is great and awesome (v.14)!
The 17th Century Puritans said we should not expect God to act for us if we neglect the means which he has already given us!