Bear in mind that each of us is encouraged to see ourselves encased and supported by these spiritual realities, this Spiritual Armor, just as if it were a physical item. As mentioned in the first part of this book, it is this Spiritual Armor which will be portrayed in a very real way, in a physical sense, while actually being "physically" intangible(at least to many people). Each piece of armor will be depicted in such a fashion that the reader may imagine them realistically enough to visualize donning each piece as if they were literal accoutrements that may be held in the hand. It is only when the aware and spiritually alive Christian applies the following principles that the protections and fruits thereof may be fully appreciated. As an example: It is not enough to say one has faith, for faith must be acted upon and expressed or it will not serve to protect. On the contrary, acting in a purely trusting and faithful manner will manifest the protections derived by Faith in the most peculiar and unexpected manners. The principles are as real and sound as the protection derived thereof.
Each piece of Spiritual Armor serves to protect us and support the various aspects of our Warriors’ character. In many instances, scriptural text will specifically address how the armor relates to certain aspects of character. I hope the reader will see how interrelated these spiritual truths are to character development and character expression.
As with real armor, wearing one individual piece may serve to offer some protection, but then who would choose to go into combat with only a helmet and no other weapon or protection, especially when the full set is available and ready to go. Real armor was designed to be used as a fully integrated system of protection which the warrior trained in the use and wearing of. With training and experience, there develops within the warrior a certain reliance and unconscious comfort in his armor and what it affords him. The same is true of our Spiritual Armor of God. The more we train in its use and applications, the more comfortable we become in using it. In time, it will become second nature to depend upon and utilize the beneficial aspects of our armor as mentioned above. At that time, one may say they have grown reliant upon it.
The strength of real armor, historically, was proven or proofed by testing under fire. In the late medieval period, this was accomplished by actually firing a projectile at the armor. This may have been an arrow, a crossbow bolt, or even later, a bullet. The actual "mark of proof" or "proof marks," of the armors protective value would be the mark left by the actual test. This proof mark served as a great selling feature as the protection availed by the armor had been verified as fireproof or bullet proof. It was literally tested under fire. It was only when the armor had been tested under fire and verified as fireproof that the armorer could sell his ware as armor proofed. As the protective value of the armor had been displayed, a great price would be commanded. In the same way, unless the protective value of our Spiritual Armor is proof marked, how assured of its protection can the wearer be? This means we should always test-proof our armor so that we may rely upon it when called to battle.
There are many small ways by which our spiritual armor may be tested. It is during a training period that these small tests help us to grow in confidence with the armor’s true protective value. Once we can see the proof marks ourselves, confidence in its protection in combat can be achieved. Each of the following chapters will bear witness to the protective value of this Spiritual Armor we are to don and grow accustomed to. In a sense, these scriptures may be viewed as proof marks. It is in trusting in Gods word and His proof marks, that we may quickly learn to rely upon all of the protection His armor gives us.