The movie WAR ROOM properly sets the stage for the greatest war of every age, which is not among men but between the people of God and demon spirits. The overwhelming content of the movie is not demons but the conflicts that arise as a result of sin, as it should be. Sin is far easier to detect than an unseen demonic spirit. The church in our day, in my opinion is very much blinded to the reality of Spiritual Warfare however.
In his book THE CHRISTIAN WARFARE Martin Lloyd Jones (the wonderful 20th century British preacher) suggests that with the advent of Freud modern psychology replaced spiritual warfare, so that demons went out and psychological problems came in. I have heard him preach as well on the need for a discerning ear when considering a person’s problems and to understand that people suffer from a variety of issues including physical, mental, sinful, worldly, and spiritual (demonic) problems. Balance in life is always good.
The movie’s central characters include a young woman and man who are suffering from marital problems, as a result of worldliness, and an unclear understanding of their responsibilities, identity as Christians, and the real enemy. So many battles could be won in the life of a Christian that are unfortunately lost because the enemy goes unseen. No, there is not a demon behind every bush, and yes, the Charismatic movement and false TV preachers have corrupted the true reality of spiritual warfare. The 3rd main character in the movie is an elderly woman (taken from a real life person who has since gone on to the presence of Christ) who understood the truth about an effective prayer life.
The movie excels in its ability to paint a picture of a sovereign God. Timing is always so important in our lives with the arrangement of literally thousands of circumstances all working in consort with one another. Only the sovereign God in all His omniscience and omnipotence could arrange all the circumstances in any given age to work for the good of those who love Him. So it is in WAR ROOM that the timing of a wayward husband, a corrupted marriage, the temptation of another woman, the husband’s attempt to cheat and being found out before it could happen, the introduction of a Christian mentor, the sufferings of a hurting daughter, theft coming to light and the husband getting fired, a wife’s lukewarm disposition coming to light and her conscience being awakened, the need to sell a home, a needy sister all add up to the broken spirits of 2 Christians in need of Christ. And in real life the circumstances are so many more.
A very important element in God working all things together for the good of those He loved in the movie is the introduction of strategic, heart-felt, and humble prayer. There is an enemy in the story but it is not the wayward husband or the self-centered wife; it is the enemy that Paul referred to in his writing to the church at Ephesus. The enemy according to Paul is “…rule and authority and power and dominion…” of 1:21, “according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience” of 2:2, “And do not give the devil an opportunity” of 4:27, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against, the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the power, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” of 6:11 and 12, and “… flaming arrows of the evil one” of 6:16.
There is no reason for the Christian to fear the powers and authorities that are greater in might, more intelligent in mind, and far more experienced in warfare because Christ is infinitely greater than they. The Father who spared not His only Son, will He not freely give us all the protection we need? Surely, He will, if we ask. Belief is an important part of the Christian life because apart from it we cannot please God. Asking and faith go hand in hand, and if we do not ask we will not receive. We do not ask out of ignorance because we we don’t see the need, which infers we are improperly taught, self-reliant and proud.
There is a key verse that is repeated in the film during a moment of serious prayer, which is born out of a deep sense of need, and that is, “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). The previous verse draws a distinction between those to whom God gives grace, which are the humble and those to whom he opposes, which are the proud. The only person from whom the devil will flee is the humble Christian. He recognizes his need and escapes to the protective arms of Christ, from whom the devil must flee. Without a doubt much of the time our conflict is with lusts that wage war in our members (James 4:1), but not always.
Pray for deliverance from sin persistently and in faith but if the problem is the devil, you will not be delivered. Every doctor knows full well the necessity for a good diagnosis in order to prescribe the proper remedy. Sometimes God desires clarity and discernment when we pray. He wants us to enter into the fullness of Scriptural teaching that comes from faith without compromise and trust without rationalizing what we don’t want to believe or are afraid to believe.
Don’t just watch the movie WAR ROOM for entertainment, but put into practice the need that we all have to be strategic about our prayers, discerning about the need of the hour, and awakened to the true enemy that attacks our soul from time to time. And listen to the good doctor Jones on mljtrust.org from Ephesians 6.