‘Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked.’ Nehemiah 4.17-18
Nehemiah was speaking about the people being wary and on their guard because of the possibility of a sudden attack. They were constantly aware of the threat and acted accordingly. In your own life you may well be aware of the way that you can feel quite close to God one minute, and then do something daft the next. Our awareness of God’s presence can vary and fluctuate in such a short space of time. Like the men who were rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, we too must learn to carry our weapons with us at all times.
It is tempting to assume that our best defence is to put on the armour of God, but in the first chapter of the letter to the Ephesians, our weapons are clearly laid out for us by Paul. He wrote that the foundations upon which we should build our lives are to know that we are chosen and adopted by the Father, and forgiven by him.
These are the basic weapons that we are meant to carry with us – the knowledge that at all times, whatever our feelings, the living God has chosen us to be his very own children, upon whom he desires to pour out his love. Whatever attacks befall us and however our feelings fluctuate, this is what we need to come back to. We belong to God and his loving heart is turned towards us. Nothing can change this.