Editor's Note: "Creed" is an ongoing article series that discusses the core beliefs of Christianity as expressed in the Apostle's and Nicene creeds. Links to the other installments are listed at the end of this article.

Years ago, on a business trip, I visited Dallas, Texas. For nearly five days, I pretty much lived on my own...in my own elaborate hotel room...dining in restaurants (I love not having to cook!) and coming back at the end of the business day to find my bed made and my bath cleaned.

I tried to get up each morning and read the Word, pray my prayers, etc., but to be honest with you; I was still pretty much a milk-sucking baby when it came to spiritual things. By the beginning of the fourth evening, when my associates and I had gone to West End Marketplace for a night of dining, shopping, and fudge making, I was spiritually running on empty.

Even as I tell of the next events, I can hardly believe they happened. And, for the most part, the memory comes in pictures, like still shots. Standing on a street corner, waiting to cross...hearing laughter...turning my head as I walked from one side of the street to another...seeing a homeless man, scrambling for the quarter some snot-nosed college kid tossed at him...the beggar's glassy eyes meeting mine...then my turning away because it was too painful to look, only to reach the other side of the street and find the man staring down at me, muttering something I couldn't understand... "I don't have any money," I said, then scrambled away, unable to say another word for the next hour or so as we made our way back to the hotel.

What I Learned About Spiritual Warfare

Once inside my room and alone, I sat in the center of the bed and rocked back and forth. Something about the man's eyes had unnerved me. Something about the words - though untranslatable - he'd spoken haunted me. I attempted to pray, but still no words would come out of my mouth. Finally, something guttural spewed forth; it was like the sound of a child in pain. Within minutes, I burst into tears and cried myself to sleep.

Days later, I was back home and standing in front of my church, speaking to a very wise older woman. I told her about what had happened, explained that nothing like that ever happened to me before and, I prayed, would never happen to me again. At the end of my story, I looked at my friend and said, "What happened to me that night?"

She cocked a brow and replied, "You were in the middle of spiritual battle, girl, and you didn't even have your armor on."

She was correct in her assessment. I'd become lax in my personal time with the Lord and, in doing so, had allowed His armor to slip, exposing me spiritually. This armor, I learned - though unseen by the human eye - helps to fight against both the visible and the invisible, mentioned in the creeds.

Ephesians 6:11

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.

Within the first line of Paul's admonition are three things to pay close attention to.

1. "The full armor"
2. "You can take your stand" and
3. "The devil's schemes."

Take them one by one with me.

"The full armor," indicates that by putting on a part of the armor, we have not completed our task in protecting ourselves.