4 Signs God Is Withholding a Blessing Until You Have the Faith to Receive It

Genesis 3:22-24

Here are 4 signs God is withholding blessings from you due to your doubt.

1. If You Are Doubting God’s Right to Accomplish His Own Will Rather than Your Will, You Are Causing God to Withhold Blessings in Your Life

When we get fixated on what we can’t have, we end up losing out on what we can have. The same is true when it comes to receiving blessings from God. When we become so singular minded in our prayers that we forget God’s will always trumps our will, we end up missing out on the good God wanted to give us because we are so obsessed with the one thing God is withholding.

This is exactly what happened with Adam and Eve. If you pay close attention to the details, there was actually another significant tree in the Garden of Eden called the Tree of Life. In Genesis 2:9 it states:

And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

God never said they could not eat from the tree of life. In Genesis 2:16 God said:

You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Because they became fixated on the one tree they were not supposed to eat from, they ended up missing out on the blessing God would have given them from the tree of life. In Genesis 3:22-24 it states:

Then the Lord God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—’ therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.”

God had to withhold a blessing he wanted to give them because they chose to pursue something that was not in his will for them. God will never give us something that he does not want to give us. But he will withhold giving us something he wanted to give us when we reject this gift because we are pursuing something else. As 1 John 5:14 states, “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.”

2. If You Are Doubting God’s Ability to Give You Even Better Things Than What You Are Imagining for Yourself, God Could Be Withholding Blessings from You

Faith is not to be confused with claiming a particular future for yourself. Faith expressed in prayer will not say, “God, I know you will do what I ask.” True biblical faith says, “God, I know you can do what I ask and will do what I ask if it is your will.” Notice how Jesus prayed in Mark 14:36, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

The Father did not remove the cup of suffering from Jesus. It was the will of the Father for Jesus to be crucified on our behalf. So did Jesus’s prayer go unanswered due to a lack of faith? No, of course not. Jesus own words show us why the Father did not answer his prayer, “Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

So for example, your persistence in pursuing that one relationship God does not want for you could be causing God to withhold giving you the spouse he does want you to marry. Your pursuit of worldly praise could be causing God to withhold the blessing of a fruitful ministry he does have planned for you. Your desire for a relationship that looks a certain way to the world could be causing you to miss out on the godly relationship the Lord is waiting to give you. As Ephesians 3:20-21 states:

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

My point is, when we pursue our own will blindly with no regard for God’s will, we end up missing out on what God does want to give us. Faith will cause you to let go of what you are imagining will make you happy and trust that God “is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think.”

3. If You Do Not Believe God Has the Power to Do What You Ask of Him, This Will Cause God to Withhold Blessings in Your Life

Throughout the Bible it is clear that it is not enough to just ask God for what we desire. We also need to ask in faith (James 4:3, Matthew 21:22, James 1:6, Mark 11:24, John 14:12-14). God’s absolute power is not limited by our faith. So the reason God does not answer faithless prayers is not because God is not able to answer faithless prayers. His power is unaffected by our faith. No, one of the reasons God will not answer prayers offered in doubt is because God knows you will not give him the glory if he did answer that prayer.

People who doubt God still receive good things from God but then say, “Man, I really got lucky on that one,” or “Wow, I’m so grateful the doctor healed me,” or “I’m so glad I worked harder than others and got ahead in life.”

It’s amazing how the world can attribute praise to anything but God for the good we human’s experience. In Romans 1:19-20 and Acts 14:16-17 we are taught that God has showed us evidence for himself through the gift of creation. It states:

For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”

In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.”

But because people do not have faith to see the obvious goodness of God in creation, they attribute this goodness to other sources besides God. In Hebrews 11:3 is reads, “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.”

My point is, when we lack faith, we will see God’s gifts but we will not see the God who gave them to us. God often withholds blessings until we ask in faith because ultimately God is most concerned with his glory and our good. God knows that what is best for us is to glorify him, and so if this gift will not result in us giving glory to him, God will often withhold that blessing until we have the faith to see that he is truly the one who gave it to us. As 1 Corinthians 4:7 states, “What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?”

4. If You Doubt God Has a Good Plan for You, This Is a Sign God Could Be Withholding a Blessing in Your Life

When we demand something from God because we feel like he has forgotten us, it often has the opposite effect we intended. Sometimes God wants to give us something but then he withholds that blessing because we are acting foolish in our pursuit of it.

As a father to two young children, I experience this type of situation all the time. For example, there are times when I was planning on giving my kids dessert after dinner but if they then demand it and ask for it in a rude way, I’m then unable to give it to them. I then have to explain to them how to ask correctly. If they apologize and then ask respectively, I proceed to give it to them. If they refuse and continue to complain and whine about it despite by discipline, I then have to refuse the blessing I wanted to give them and instead I need to then discipline them in love because their behavior and character development is more important to me than their short term satisfaction with a dessert.

Likewise, we do more harm than good when we come to God in a forceful attitude telling him what he is going to do for us. God is not our puppet or some magic genie we beckon whenever we desire a blessing. God is our faithful Father who loves us so much he will actually withhold a blessing he was planning on giving us if we start acting foolish in our pursuit of it.

We don’t need to be perfect. God knows our condition. But we do need to repent of this type of demanding behavior. When we do – when we are truly ready to submit to God’s will for us even if it is not what we want – that is oftentimes when God releases the very thing we’ve wanted because it was his plan to give it to us all along, we just weren’t ready to receive it properly.

Remember, God is faithful. I echo to you the words of Paul to the Philippians, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).

Never doubt God’s plan for your life. We’re not sure what God’s specific plan is for you, but like Paul we can be sure that God is able to bring to completion that good work he started in you.