JANUARY 17, 2024



“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:11-13 New King James Version).

After Saul could not discourage David from going to fight Goliath in response to his challenge for forty days for an Israelite to fight him, the Philistine champion, to determine the winner of the battle, Saul finally agreed that he could go and God would be with him.

Saul clothed David with his (Saul’s) armour, put a bronze helmet on his head, and clothed him with a coat of mail. David, who was not used to these, fastened his sword over the tunic and tried walking around. He was uncomfortable with them and told Saul that he couldn’t walk with them, for he had not tested them. Therefore, he took them off.

If the armour would have given anyone victory against Goliath and the Philistines, Saul, the owner of the armour, was the right person to put them on. He had the armour, yet for forty days, Goliath challenged Israel’s army, morning and evening. Goliath said, “Why have you come out to line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and you the servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us” (1 Samuel 17:8-9 New King James Version). The Israelites were greatly afraid. Not even their king, who was taller than every Israelite from his shoulders upward, could confront him (1 Samuel 9:2; 10:23).

Indeed, Goliath was an intimidating sight. The Israelites might have looked like grasshoppers before him! Like Saul, he had his armour and Saul should ordinarily have picked up Saul’s challenge. But he was afraid of him, as he was six cubits and a span, or over nine feet tall. “He had a bronze helmet on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. And he had bronze armor on his legs and a bronze javelin between his shoulders. Now the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his iron spearhead weighed six hundred shekels; and a shield-bearer went before him” (1 Samuel 17:5-7 New King James Version). The physical appearance of Goliath was, no doubt, frightening.

While everyone in the camp of Israel was afraid of Goliath, David wasn’t, not even when Saul said he (David)was a youth and Goliath had been a man of war from his youth (1 Samuel 17:33). “But David said to Saul, ‘Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.’ Moreover David said, ‘The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine’” (verses 34-37a New King James Version).

So when David rejected the armour Saul put on him, he did so knowing that he couldn’t wear Saul’s armour to defeat Goliath. He knew that God’s support would give him victory, not Saul’s endorsement. He rejected Saul’s armour which he had not tested before and went with what he had tested before: faith in God that gave him victory in the past against the lion and the bear, as a shepherd. He put on his spiritual armour, not the physical armour of Saul, against the physical armour of Goliath. The spiritual is superior to the physical. The spiritual controls the physical.

David was conscious of God’s covenant with the nation of Israel. He knew Goliath had no covenant with God. That’s why he referred to him as the uncircumcised Philistine, from whom his God would deliver him. Indeed, later when he stood before Goliath, he didn’t say that God would deliver him from his hand but that God would deliver Goliath into his hand and he would give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth might know that there was a God in Israel (1 Samuel 17:46).

David didn’t wear Saul’s armour to face Goliath. Unlike Goliath, he had no armour bearer going before him. David went to face Goliath putting on his spiritual armour. He chose five smooth stones from the brook, put them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch, and had a sling in his hand, as he went to face Goliath. While others feared the giant size of Goliath; David saw it as an advantage. He believed he was so big that he couldn’t miss him with his sling. David had unshaken faith in God to use a stone from his sling to strike him in his forehead and kill him. He didn’t mind the fact that Goliath disdained him and asked if he was a dog that he came to him with sticks.

Goliath cursed David by his gods but David went to face him in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom he had defied (1 Samuel 17:36, 45). Eventually, David killed Goliath, wearing his spiritual armour. “Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David. Therefore David ran and stood over the Philistine, took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it” (1 Samuel 17:49-51a New King James Version).

Don’t face your ‘Goliath’ putting on the ‘armour of Saul’ – physical or worldly armour. David didn’t do that. Don’t use the methods of the world. Don’t depend on their tools. As David said, some trust in chariots, and some in horses but we will remember the name of the LORD our God; they have bowed down and fallen, but we have risen and stand upright (Psalm 20:7-8).

As Paul said in 2 Corinthians 10:4, the weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world but have divine power to demolish strongholds. “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:11-13 New King James Version). Note the phrase “the whole armour of God.” Put on God’s full armour or every piece. Put on the armour of God, not the armour of Saul!

Paul gives us the details of the armour of God:Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:14-18 New King James Version).

Put on spiritual armour as you fight life’s battles. Don’t depend on the ‘armour of Saul.’ It is not by strength that one prevails (1 Samuel 2:9b). No king is saved by the multitude of an army; a mighty man is not delivered by great strength (Psalm 33:16). Verse 17 says a horse is a vain hope for safety; either shall it deliver any by its great strength. If Saul’s armour could save him, he would have gone to face Goliath wearing them. The writer of Psalm 44 says, “For I will not trust in my bow, nor shall my sword save me” (verse 6 New King James Version).

Put on your spiritual armour. Have faith in God. Trust in Him. Don’t neglect God and depend on human beings to help you. It will not work. Hanani the seer told Asa, king of Judah, “Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. Were not the Cushites and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen? Yet when you relied on the Lord, he delivered them into your hand” (2 Chronicles 16:7 New International Version).

Ben-Hadad, King of Syria was boasting that he would destroy Samaria. He sent his messengers to tell King Ahab of Israel this. Ahab replied, “Tell him, ‘Let not the one who puts on his armor boast like the one who takes it off’” (1 Kings 20:11 New King James Version). In other words, putting on armour does not determine victory. People die in battles with their armour on, as in the case of Goliath. He died with his armour on him. Also, Israel defeated Syria in that battle despite Ban-Hadad’s boast and when Ben-Hadad fought Israel again. Ban-Hadad fled on this second occasion and sent his servants to beg Ahab for his life. Ahab did and made a treaty with him.

Your spiritual armour will do what the ‘armour of Saul’ or ‘armour of Goliath’ cannot do. Put on your spiritual armour. Your faith in God will give you victory in life. As Hezekiah said when Sennacherib, king of Assyria, invaded Judah, “With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles” (“2 Chronicles 32:8a New International Version). The Lord helped Judah. The arm of the Lord, a symbol of divine military power, defeated the arm of flesh. Put on your spiritual armour.


If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.

Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.

I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.

PRAYER POINTS: I will put on my spiritual armour, not worldly armour. I will not depend on the armour of Saul but the armour of God. I will not trust in chariots or horses but will remember the name of the Lord. My enemies shall bow down and fall, but I will rise and stand upright.

(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).

T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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