Viva La Vida lyrics
Songwriters: Berryman, Guy Rupert; Buckland, Jonathan Mark; Champion, Will; Martin, Christopher A J;
I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own
I used to roll the dice
Feel the fear in my enemy’s eyes
Listen as the crowd would sing
“Now the old king is dead! Long live the king!”
One minute I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand
Picking up the brooms
Last week Cheryl made this comment about picking up the brooms. It was a comment that resonated with others, including myself. It reminded me of the lyrics of this Coldplay song Viva La Vida. The song is a real prophetic statement that almost becomes a theme song for the emerging landscape. Who would have thought that Chris Martin and his co-horts would be prophets in the margins? God’s voice gets everywhere with those who have ears to hear, especially amongst the artists.
I Used to Rule the World
…seas would rise when I gave at word. Amazing how there was a time when I really thought like this. The Word is sharper than a two edged sword! At my Word such and such will happen because I have dominion over people, stuff, situations. Pray in the name of Jesus and anything will happen. I never signed on to the name it and claim it brigade but I often acted that way anyway because I believed that with Jesus I could do anything, the impossible. Well do what I wanted to do anyway, and try and get what I want to get. Not giving a thought for who may get hurt, trampled on, rejected at my expense. I called it authority. Authority over the enemy, opponents (people who just thought different to me most of the time), sickness, disease, situations. Tell the mountain to be removed and it will cast itself in the sea. Funny how we always interpreted that as stuff that got in the way or stuff we didn’t like. It always seems as if someone who starts walking in dominion walks in domination, superiority. I have been told this by God so I have His seal of approval to do what I like, no questions asked. If anyone questions me they are not in the flow and are tools of the enemy to try and get me off track. Never mind we shall prevail because God is on my side. I have the whole weight of the heavens standing with me. My vision, my word of the Lord, God has told me. I have shouted at mountains, people etc. Remember once a guy came into a meeting who was totally stoned and he started interfering with my great sermon that I had taken hours to prepare, God’s now word. I got well miffed, the people needed to hear God’s word. So I shouted at him rebuking this spirit and that spirit. Who did I think I was? What a fool!!! But I ruled the world. Thankfully he was too stoned to take any notice and we ended up talking often. We became the only place that would not throw him out or ban him. I ended up taking many funerals for his friends who sadly died of overdoses or alcohol abuse. Not a nice thing to do but bridges were built. But we could stop the sea from coming in. King Canute eat your heart out!!!
Long ago, England was ruled by a king named Canute. Like many leaders and men of power, Canute was surrounded by people who were always praising him. Every time he walked into a room, the flattery began.
“You are the greatest man that ever lived,” one would say.
“O king, there can never be another as mighty as you,” another would insist.
“Your highness, there is nothing you cannot do,” someone would smile.
“Great Canute, you are the monarch of all,” another would sing. “Nothing in this world dares to disobey you.”
The king was a man of sense, and he grew tired of hearing such foolish speeches.
One day he was walking by the seashore, and his officers and courtiers were with him, praising him as usual. Canute decided to teach them a lesson.
“So you say I am the greatest man in the world?” he asked them.
“O king,” they cried, “there never has been anyone as mighty as you, and there never be anyone so great, ever again!”
“And you say all things obey me?” Canute asked.
“Absolutely!” they said. “The world bows before you, and gives you honor.”
“I see,” the king answered. “In that case, bring me my chair, and we will go down to the water.”
“At once, your majesty!” They scrambled to carry his royal chair over the sands.
“Bring it closer to the sea,” Canute called. “Put it right here, right at the water’s edge.” He sat down and surveyed the ocean before him. “I notice the tide is coming in. Do you think it will stop if I give the command?”
His officers were puzzled, but they did not dare say no. “Give the order, O great king, and it will obey,” one of then assured him.
“Very well. Sea,” cried Canute, “I command you to come no further! Waves, stop your rolling!. Surf, stop your pounding! Do not dare touch my feet!”
He waited a moment, quietly, and a tiny wave rushed up the sand and lapped at his feet.
“How dare you!” Canute shouted. “Ocean, turn back now! I have ordered you to retreat before me, and now you must obey! Go back!”
And in answer another wave swept forward and curled around the king’s feet. The tide came in, just as it always did. The water rose higher and higher. It came up around the king’s chair, and wet not only his feet, but also his robe. His officers stood before him, alarmed, and wondering whether he was not mad.
“Well, my friends,” Canute said, “it seems I do not have quite so much power as you would have me believe. Perhaps you have learned something today. Perhaps now you will remember there is only one King who is all-powerful, and it is he who rules the sea, and holds the ocean in the hollow of his hand. I suggest you reserve your praises for him.”
The royal officers and courtiers hung their heads and looked foolish. And some say Canute took off his crown soon afterward, and never wore it again.
Sweep the Streets I used to own
For many to step off the pedestal would be unthinkable, but Jesus did. To take away the raised platforms and pulpits, the places of authority and rule and dominion. To cast the crowns down not just at Jesus feet but at one another’s feet and take on the role of a servant. To swap the spotlight for a sweeping brush. To exchange the glory for the margins. To give up the accolade for silence. To neglect the shouting at the devil and the world for the whisper of love. To wake up alone rather than run with the crowd. People will not believe what you have become but this is not about appeasing people. Serving is never about the glory. It takes some adjusting when you are so used to the attention of living as a king, but once adjusted it is so liberating, so life affirming. You realise that before you thought you were ruling but really you were ruled by systems, structures, walls. Now I realise that it was for freedom that Christ has set me free. Sweeping the streets I used to own is liberating. What that means to one will be different to another. Just open your eyes and serve. Serve the world you find yourself in. Begins with the people you live with and then continues from the doorstep. Whatever your hand finds to do… I so relate to the lyrics in this song. There was a time when I stood on the mountain overlooking the Asda store and claimed this land for Jesus. Declaring dominion through revival and prophecy. I was recognised through some places in the valley for carrying an anointed prophetic word and gifting. The crowds shouted long live the king. Now I fill the shelves on a night shift in the valley I used to own. People couldn’t believe what I’d become. But I pick up my broom and serve this valley. I sweep these streets in my own way. The place I shouted and declared at I now walk amongst. And I believe Jesus does too!!!