Many years ago, my dad introduced me to the phrase “shape up or ship out.” Since that time, I have used that phrase continually. I like it because it pretty much tells me that if the problem is me, the solution is also mine. In Hebrews 2:1-4, I read that passage in that sort of way. I approach this passage with a series of questions, all designed to get to the heart of the problem.
1. Why is it that I struggle spiritually? It is because I have refused to hear and apply the Lord’s word to my life (2:1).
2. Why have I refused to apply the Lord’s word to my life? It is because I have failed to take the illustrations of that which the Lord said in the long ago seriously (2:2).
3. Why is it that I think I will escape the “reward” the Lord has prepared for me with such a refusal? It is because I say to myself that the Lord knows my heart and my intention and that I want to do what is right (2:3). “You see, I am not all that bad! Surely, the Lord will be merciful to me?”
4. While I have made a conscience decision to not “shape up,” it won’t be long before the Lord “ships me out!” his will attests to the fidelity of His word (2:4).