All The World’s a Stage
Shakespeare said, “All the world’s as stage” in his play, “As You Like It”. Well, perhaps he had more insight into the reality of this statement than we may have ever given him credit for.
I was listening to a teaching about the time that Jesus walked upon the Sea of Galilee in the middle of a huge storm in which the disciples thought they were going to die. The scriptures say that “He would have passed by them” had they not called to Him for help. I thought, wow, was He just out for a casual stroll and didn’t notice the disciples needed help desperately? He was cool as a cucumber, which made me ponder the situation.
All of the sudden, the Lord gave me one of those capsule forms of the Word of Knowledge where in an instant you have some explosive insight into something scriptural. I pictured Jesus calmly walking upon this raging sea toward the boat that was about to be capsized with the totally-soaked disciples frantically bailing water, trying to keep the sail from ripping, hanging on for dear life and screaming out to Jesus in a sheer terror. Freeze frame.
What the Lord showed me was why He was so calm. He showed me the relationship between the spiritual and the physical world – it’s like a play or the theater. I had a vision of Jesus on the stormy see with the stormy sky all around, except that behind him the scene morphed into what looked like the backstage of a theater with cast and crew running frantically around to make sure the play keeps moving and things get ready for the next act.
I felt like the parable I was seeing was that the stage represents the physical world. It is what the audience sees (we’re the audience) – that’s all they can see – what’s before their eyes. Back stage is the spiritual world – what the audience can’t see, that is creating what is going on onstage – and what’s going on back stage is more real than what is happening on the stage. What is happening on the stage is secondary, almost unreal – it’s fake – a play is just pretend.
The disciples were the audience and they were very caught up in the play. They saw Jesus and this tremendous storm. Jesus represented the actor on the stage, in control of the audience, and the stage hands were creating the storm with their special effects to frighten the audience and convince them that the storm is deadly. But Jesus remained perfectly calm about the storm because He knew what was causing the storm, He knew it was just part of the play, and that everything was under control – His control. And, He also knew what was going on back stage: hundreds of people running around, getting ready for the next scene, applying makeup, moving lights, getting props ready, sound technicians, special effects personnel, etc. The stage hands are the metaphor for spirits: demons and angels.
I said earlier that what was going on back stage was more real than what was happening onstage. That’s because the spirit world is more real than the physical world. The physical world was created FROM the spirit world, not the other way around. In this particular story in Scripture, this storm was caused by demon spirits who didn’t want Jesus and the disciples to cross the Sea of Galilee to go to the land of Gad. Because when He arrived there, the people were excited to see Him and brought everyone who needed healing to Him, and the scriptures say He healed everyone. The demons didn’t want that to happen, thus the cause of the storm.
So to summarize, the audience, the disciples, couldn’t see back stage-they couldn’t see the spiritual world that Jesus could. But Jesus was trying to teach them something in the short time He was with them. In this case, He was trying to make them understand the power of God that would soon be theirs to command once He died on the cross, resurrected and ascended into Heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father. They would soon have the power to change the next act as He did when He calmed the storm. “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.” (John 14:12)
As Christians, we have the power to change the next act. We have the power to command the stagehands (we can ask the Lord to send angels to work for us, we can command demons to depart in Jesus’ name, and we can speak to the mountain and cast it into the sea). Therefore, those who believe the Word fully, trust the Lord completely, do not fear as the Lord commanded, and are doers of the Word have the power to take authority over the spiritual realm and make it manifest in the physical realm. We have to remember that the storms are there only to attempt to scare us and crumble our faith. They are nothing as long as we keep our mind on Jesus.
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. (Isaiah 26:3)