Getting The Big Head

Saturday, October 8, 2016
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee"1 (Lyrics)

Numbers 20:11 – Then Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with the staff, and water gushed out. So the entire community and their livestock drank their fill. (NLT)

Getting the big head can push us away from God and others.

Henry was a close friend of my father's, but they were different. Dad was quiet and reserved; Henry was outgoing and comical. Dad held post-graduate degrees; Henry never made it out of college. Dad held no position in his state denomination while Henry had moved up in the ranks. Dad was a relatively unknown pastor; Henry was known by most and had served for many years as the parliamentarian for his denomination on the state level. But Henry never got the big head. Regardless of how important the people were that he hobnobbed with, he remained the same ol' Henry.

Moses forgot how to be humble. God chose him to lead the Israelites from Egyptian slavery to the Promised Land. He also gave him the power to perform miracles. One was striking a rock with his staff. When he did, water gushed out for the thirsty people. But on this occasion, God told him to merely speak to the rock. Moses, full of himself, hit the rock instead. God doesn't appreciate orneriness, and politely informed Moses that he had forfeited his chance to lead the captives into the Promised Land.

The Bible doesn't use the words "big head", but it does use the word "pride" — and the terms are identical. When pride infiltrates my life, life becomes about me. Initially, Moses wanted nothing to do with the assignment of freeing the captives, but as time moved on, he began to think more of himself than he should.

Pride leads me to distrust God and will also cause me to make poor decisions. No inherent power resided in Moses' staff. Trust in God made the staff work — along with anything else that God told him to use. Many of my poor decisions have been selfish and were made in a moment when I failed to let God guide me.

God has a way of shrinking my head when it gets too big. He shrunk Moses' by taking away the privilege of living in the Promised Land. He's used various methods on me as well. But He doesn't shrink my head because He's mean. He simply wants me to trust in Him instead of in myself.

When your head gets too big, let God remind you about who you are without Him.

Prayer: Father, remind us daily that we are nothing without You. Amen.

Forward this devotional     Share this devotional on Facebook     Like PresbyCan on Facebook

About the author:

Martin Wiles <>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

Send your feedback to the author

1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks, Martin.

    God wants us to be humble.

    Thanks for the reminder, Martin. Been there. Done that.. much to my regret.

    An excellent reminder of Proverbs 16:18 – Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Thank you.

    Thank you, Martin, for today’s message. I never looked at pride in quite that way before.

    Oh, Martin, how easily our heads swell when we’ve had success, as if we deserve all the credit, when acclaim really belongs to God. Thanks for sharing. Blessings.

    Hi Martin,
    What a colourful reminder that whatever power we think we have is in fact God’s power through us. Thanks.

    Thank you so much for sharing this devotional! It was heaven sent and a well-timed reminder for me.

    Interesting thoughts Martin. Thanks for sharing your perspective. I always thought Moses struck the rock in anger, but I can see how pride is usually associated with disobedience. This is a good lesson to ponder.

    Hi Martin,
    Words well written, we seem to see it every day that people who have achieved, or are trying to achieve, some stature in life get a big head. I listen to politicians and aspiring politicians, and all I ever hear is I’m going to this and I’m going to do that and God’s name in NEVER mentioned.
    Thank you for writing.

    Greetings from Ontario, Canada.
    Your allegorical analysis of Moses is very interesting! It is indeed food for thought. I have never viewed him the way you have portrayed him. I have viewed him as a person much like myself, simply one who wants to serve his Lord in any way possible, but one who is occasionally frustrated with what is going on, and sometimes angry at what I view as ineffective and foolish things that others do. Then I need to ask God’s forgiveness for MY foolishness. This is something that is very difficult to keep in balance.
    Please keep writing. I seriously enjoy your philosophy – it makes me think, and reflect back on God’s word, in prayer, to ascertain God’s plan for me, instead of my plan for God. Blessings.

    I love Moses’ version Deut. 4:21:- “It’s all your fault”. My paraphrase.
    Trouble was that is not entirely accurate as we know.
    To be fair he must have been really fed up and on a bad day. Been there done that. Got the bruises from God.
    However, anyone who takes God at His word will not be far from God for long, because that is why we are here. Even with a big head. David comes to mind. Yes, there are always consequences for failure, but the blessings outweigh the desire to rebel. If they do not then there is an issue somewhere to be sorted. Something that, sadly, I have to go over time and again, especially when I am being hassled by others. When you want to say:
    “For goodness sake: don’t you get it?”
    Ah, how short our memories are.
    Grace is a wonderful thing.

    Dear M, Wiles,
    Yes, we suffer when we don’t choose to cooperate with the Words from God.
    Dear Lord, we pray that we will humbly submit to your Word-way.
    For Jesus sake. Amen
    Keep writing,

    I get the words but no music. The sound is on and I get the music on my thanksgiving cards. Please help me.

Previous Post

PresbyCan is a community of faithful, Holy Spirit-filled, Christ-centred, God-honouring Christians.