Bible study, purpose, Word Study

Wrestling with God: Holding onto the Promise of Purpose/ Epiteleo


I’m convinced that the people who walk in their God purpose, no matter how big or small, are content because they are supernaturally fully satisfied.

I’m also convinced that as long as we are seeking, maybe even wrestling, after what God’s purpose is for us, we will run into it. I’ve heard sermons explaining that wrestling with God is not good because you will end up with a limp. But I disagree. If my limp is from God, because I was holding on tight asking for His blessing, I’ll take a God limp over a bless-less walk any day. Some of the most fascinating and blessed people I know are the ones who limp–they’ve smelled God’s sweat. Their faces have been buried into His chest.

Restlessness can be good and discontentment has its place when they leave us clinging to God wrestling for the blessing–His purpose for us or the fulfillment of that purpose.

[bctt tweet=”Restlessness can be good and discontentment has its place when they leave us clinging to God” username=”wordsbyandylee”]


Many of us have dreams, visions from God that we believe are our calling, but we’ve not reached those visions so we feel dissatisfied. But keep in mind that the dream may simply be the picture your mind could paint. Ask what the bigger purpose is behind the vision.

I never thought simply sitting behind a keyboard, writing truths God placed on my heart, sharing my own wrestling matches, would be so satisfying. Some days only a handful of eyes read my words. But God gives me peace as I thank Him for every set of eyes and I pray my words draw them closer to Him.

Some days I don’t talk to anyone all. day. long. (Which was a huge learning curve for this extrovert.) But…God.

There used to be this person inside of me who dreamed of standing in front of big crowds or even a small congregation I shepherded. She was discontent because she had not arrived to either one of those dreams until she realized what those dreams had in common…what the bigger purpose was behind the visions.

I found contentment when I surrendered my agenda for His.


[bctt tweet=” Do we want God’s blessing or our own? Ours will leave us empty. His fills us to overflowing.” username=”wordsbyandylee”]

As I write these words I think of friends whose health has disabled their dreams–wiping out any hope for fulfillment. But I believe that the promise of Philippians 1:8 can restore what we’ve lost. We never lose the gift of purpose, sometimes it simply takes on a new look or a different venue.

God’s promises never fail. And He promises through Paul’s words:

“…He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”


It took the Bible translators 5 English words to translate the 1 Greek word, Epiteleo.

I love the definition from the Key-Word Study Bible:

“….An intensive form of the verb, teleo; this word means to finish up, fully achieve a goal, or accomplish a purpose. To finish, complete, perfect. “Perfecting holiness” does not mean improving or completing it as though it were deficient; rather it means allowing it to fulfill its objective, leading it to full expression or realization; to perform, accomplish.”

If you are feeling restless, discontent, your dreams seem far away, impossible, or you can’t even remember any of them…hold on to this promise.

Take it with you to the wrestling mat.

God blesses those who wrestle with Him asking for His blessing–not the ones we envision.

He promises that our purpose or purposes will be Epiteleo.



Digging Deep,




  1. Andy, I have been mulling this very topic over since my return from the recent FCWC. Asking God what is his purpose for me in writing, asking why my fiction writing has a certain direction, considering why I blog, all of it. Hours spent quietly thinking and asking the one who knows all.

    1. Keep writing as you wrestle!! Loved seeing you at FCWC!

  2. Annie

    What a beautiful word for the day!

    1. Thank you Annie!

  3. My word for 2014 is content. I’m nowhere near it, but I’ve still got six months to go. :) Thanks for nudging me closer with your post.

    1. Hey Kim, I will be praying for you! I just recently stepped into one of the most contented places I’ve been in my life. One day God said, “Andy, will you please just thank me for your life, what it’s like right now. Your time at home; your blog; the 5 people who read it…” I did, and like magic, I actually felt thankful. My life didn’t change. I have no books published. I’m not ordained nor do I get to work on staff of a church, and my platform is pitiful in a publisher’s eyes…but I caught contentment.

  4. Andy, Thank you for this beautiful word in due season. I am holding on to the promises God has made to me and my husband. May God continue to use you to water hope in dry land. Love you.

    1. What beautiful words. Thank you Venus. I’ll be praying.

  5. Perri

    Andy, Your post is a blessing. I was fretting about not being able to write because of life issues and health my husband and me. I am gently reminded to have faith in God’s purpose. How quickly, I forget and become frustrated with my progress. Continue your ministry.
    Blessing overflowing to you,

    1. Dear Perri, I’ll be praying for you and God’s timing. Thanks you for encouraging me. Blessings!

  6. Beautiful and inspiring! Thank you for sharing such an encouraging reminder!

    1. Thank you, Jen! You always inspire me. :)

  7. Thank you for being obedient to God’s calling! You are a gift and an inspiration!

    1. Thank you Valerie! Thanks for encouraging me. Blessings!

  8. Thanks for the reminder Andy, God will see us through to completion! -Beth

    1. Yay Beth! You were able to leave a comment! Thanks for reading and tweeting and always encouraging me. Thankful this encouraged you.

  9. Oh Andy, God has done it again. Before reading your words this morning, I blogged about life’s purpose too. Then I opened which gives 6 steps to verifying your dream is from God. Then your beautiful words about epiteleo – an intense perfect completion. Acts 20:24 uses the less intense teleo. We each have a specific purpose for which we search/wrestle, but overall all missions are the same – to testify to God’s grace. Three blogs with the same message on the same day. God has something important to say about this!

    1. I’ve got chill bumps Cathy! Can’t wait to read yours and the other you suggested. Yay God!

  10. A great big God “Amen” or “Yeah,” however you prefer to express it!–from a fellow wrestler.

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting my fellow wrestler. Keep wrestling!

  11. I so needed this today and totally loved it, dear sister!

    1. He is so faithful. Praying for you. Be encouraged, Donna. He uses you all. the. time. :) Much love.

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