6 And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness. 7 And he said unto him, I am the Lord that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it. 8 And he said, Lord God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it? Genesis 15:6-8
Believe, in the life of Abraham as well as our own lives, means to be firm or faithful towards God, to trust, to believe permanently. It means to obey God, and His moral law. If we fail to obey God, we need to repent.
To get to this point, Abraham (then Abram) had to leave his home and go to Canaan (present day Israel and its surroundings) and walk through the land. He had to obey God, He had to trust God, He had to allow God to correct him. A lot of us miss these points as being part of faith. Abraham didn’t just think God was going to give him all this land, he did not proclaim in his prayers that he would take the land he wanted. He obeyed God and went where God told him to go!
As is usual for Abraham, he made mistakes, he told the king of Egypt (Pharaoh) that his wife was his sister because he was afraid. But then he resumed the journey God had appointed for him. Abraham knew his destiny, his legacy, was in the land of Canaan, and that is where he must be to realize it.
Abraham held to his destiny tightly, as we should. Even when it looked like the land he was getting was second best, he went where God sent him. Abraham looked at the land around him as God looked at it. In Genesis 13 he and Lot (his nephew) decide to separate, so Lot takes the “good” land. Afterwards this is what God tells Abraham.
17 Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee. 18 Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the Lord. Genesis 13:17-18
Here is the point: Lot took what looked good to him, Abraham took what looked good to God. Abraham went to where God sent him, Lot disobeyed God and went where he wanted. Once Abraham’s faith was established in his obedience to God, God then said he was righteous. Abraham lived his faith, not perfectly (who can?), but he pursued God and realized his destiny. This is the same challenge that his grandsons Jacob and Esau faced; it is the same challenge we have right now.