The Word elusive means: difficult to find, catch, or achieve; difficult to remember or recall; to elude capture, perception, comprehension, or memory; difficult to define or describe; be difficult to detect or grasp by the mind. We use this word to describe something that may seem within grasp, but yet we can never reach it. It could be used for that promotion or raise you never get. In some organizations, a specific landmark amount of members is never reached. It can be used for a fugitive or criminal that is hard to catch. It is also used for a particular animal that is hard to hunt or fish.
There is a metaphor used in an old Spanish love song that I think illustrates this point well. To tell the lover his or her love will always be unrequited, the singer makes this statement,
"The sea and the sky look equally blue
and in the distance, they seem to meet and unite,
better remember that the sky is always sky
that never, never will the sea reach."
The point is obvious, "As the sky is elusive to the sea, so am I to you."
God's ways are higher than ours. God says through Isaiah "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:9). In the above metaphor, we are the sea, and the Lord is the sky. We will never reach God. That is why God sent His Son to reach us. So anything from God is unattainable for us unless it is through Jesus. That is why Paul says that "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law" (Romans 3:28). The word justified means to be made righteous; this means that man is made righteous by faith and not by attempting to obey the law in his strength. Paul is saying that your effort to obey the law on your own will be futile and therefore you will never be righteous. Righteousness will be elusive in your strength. The more you try, the harder it gets to reach it.
But, Paul makes it clear that being justified by faith does not make the law void, on the contrary, it exalts the law (Romans 3:31). Then He uses Abraham as an example of how justification by faith works. Paul says of Abraham,
Romans 4:1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
Romans 4:2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
Romans 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
Abraham was no exception in regards to how to become righteous. It was not on his strength, but by faith. He believed God's Word and this believing the Word was counted to Him as righteousness. Ellen White says that Righteousness is obedience to the law (Selected Messages, book 1, p. 367); this means that when Abraham believed God's word, it was counted unto Him as obedience to the law. It was faith that made Abraham a doer of the Law. And, so it is with us.