Often times, we tend to “idolize” the believers in the Bible as having some sort of “special faith.” We like to think that they have some level to their spirituality that is unattainable to us “mere humans.”
Granted, some were fortunate enough to have an unexpected burning bush experience and/or the audible voice of God calling them by name and telling them what His plan was for them. (Exodus 3) Even Caiaphas (the high priest who demanded that Jesus, the True High Priest, be sent to His death) was given Divine words simply because he was the high priest that year. (John 11:47–53) But even those scenarios aren’t the norm throughout Scripture. So what made them different?
James 5:17 (NLT)
Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for the next three and a half years!
Elijah was flesh and blood like us! It literally says that he had the same passions and feelings as us. The truth of the matter is, we serve the same God, we’re saved by the same Christ, and indwelt by the same Holy Spirit! (Ephesians 4:4–7) “To God be the glory, great things He has done!”
The words translated “prayed earnestly” are the noun and verb form of the same word, together carrying the idea of “drawing close to God in prayerful worship to pray and worship deeply.” It’s not so much that he had something special as it was that he fervently pursued God. As James 4:8 says, “Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you…” (NLT) Also, even though Moses had the burning bush experience and was the chosen leader over Israel, his getting away from distractions to fervently and faithfully pursue God is what ushered in the opportunity to see God’s glory. (Exodus 33:7–23)
So, not unlike the parable of the talents, we must be faithful in the “small things” of our faith and we will be given a greater and deeper faith. (Matthew 25:14–30) But we must also remember that “… From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.” (Luke 12:47–48, NASB) I say that not to discourage you from pursuing a deeper relationship with God, but so that you know that a deeper faith is usually associated with deeper testing of that faith.