Wrestling with

Why I took up Wrestling and You should too


I started wrestling a few years ago.

Spiritually that is.

I’d heard a teaching about Jacob (who’d wrestled with God all night) that his wrestling wasn’t good. Because of the fight, he limped for the rest of his life.

But I can’t agree with that opinion.

Personally, I think [tweetability]God really loves wrestlers, and Jacob’s story proves this.[/tweetability]

  • After wrestling all night with God, Jacob became “Israel”.

Jacob’s name meant “deceiver”. Which was exactly what he was in the beginning of his life. He deceived his father, Isaac, who gave him Esau’s blessing. But he was a changed man when he went to the mats with God, and God changed him even more.

When we wrestle with God, there is no room for pretension. He see’s our frustration, our anger, our confusion, our reliance on him. Jacob was wrestling for the blessing. He knew he couldn’t go any farther in his own strength and will. He wrestled with God until the Lord touched him.

If they were wrestling, you would assume that God and Jacob were making physical contact already, but this touch from God was specific. It was life changing. Jacob would never be the same. And neither would his name.

He became “Israel” which means, “he struggles with God.”

Who are God’s chosen people?


The wrestler, Jacob, became the father of God’s favorite people. . . the people from whom the Messiah would come. 

So, what does it look like to wrestle with an invisible God in the year 2015?

I wrestle after a heartache or disappointment, a confusing word from a friend or a verse in the Bible that doesn’t sit right in my spirit. I say something like this: (Usually on my knees if circumstances allow.)

“Show me, God. Help me understand. What is your plan in all of this confusion or pain or suffering? Give me your blessing. I can’t go on without your touch, your wisdom, your conviction.”

And my spirit wrestles. I push hard. He can take it. I petition over and over.

Don’t let go until you experience His touch. His release.

When I ask God to bless me, it isn’t a request for earthly wealth. That wasn’t Jacob’s request either. He was wealthy already.

Jacob was asking to be right with God–to walk in God’s blessing.

I wrestle with God when something doesn’t feel right, when I feel separated from Him.

Press your cheek against His arm. Feel the sweat on His skin. Wrestle.

You may limp when you’re done, but you will limp away blessed and changed, closer to God. You’ll never be the same.


Do you need to wrestle with God? Go to the mats.

With a good limp,



  1. What a God-insight! Being a spiritual warrior for God is one thing but being a God-wrestler is another. I’m going to have to delve deeper into into that one!

    1. Thanks Sandy! Looking forward to hearing from what you glean!

  2. I can honestly say, “You wrote this for me today.” I am wrestling with finishing the final details of my book, struggling to make it what He wants it to be, searching for answers to my questions, desiring to know and do His will with the book. I will “go to the mat” and stay until I have peace about this. Thank you, Andy.

    1. Oh Anne! I know that wrestle. I will be praying for you. Thanks for letting me know you’re my one. :)

  3. I agree. Wrestling meaning being brutally honest with God is great. He can take it. Unfortunately, i engage too often LOL.
    PS: You may consider adding a “like” button to your share options. Sometimes readers may wish to like a post without commenting. It gives me the feedback I desire.

    1. Thanks Kate! I’ll get a like button!

  4. Something just popped out at me that never has before about this story.
    When God touched Jacob and caused his limp, it wasn’t just a reminder of his human weakness and dependency. Jacob was a runner. He ran from Esau in his youth and from Laban in his married life. He was definitely a “flight” reactor. But you can run with a limp. All you can do is stand your ground. God not only removed Jacob’s shame with a new name, but also by making him so dependent on Himself, that all Jacob could do was stand in the face of his enemies and rely on God for the outcome. No more running in fear. God went from being his adversary to his line of defense. I love that! Thank you for your post, Andy! Another home run!

    1. That’s awesome Samantha! Thank you for sharing your insights! And thanks for the “home run”. Did I tell you my husband used to tell me that when I preached? :) those are endearing words. Much love.

  5. Love this one, Andy. Nothing like wrestling to bring two people together!

    1. Amen! Thanks Terri!

  6. You are so right, my closest times with God are at the height of emotion. I love that He doesn’t turn us away like the world does…He just lets us tantrum, teaches, and sends us away with a little pat on the rear end:) Thanks Andy Lee!

    1. Thanks Meg! Yep, I love the memories of smelling His sweat and my ear up against His chest. That’s when I heard His heartbeat.

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