We must understand that the reality of communion with God, and loving God, must take place in the inward self. There is no use talking about loving God except to understand that it takes place in the inward world of our thoughts. Even communication with men and women must be through the body into the area of the thought-world. If a man and a woman have only an external contact, this cannot be called communication. It is only mechanical. But a real, personal communication never remains external. It always goes back into the personality. This is true in the area of married life, the man-woman relationship as God meant it to be. Merely to have physical contact is not communication on a personal level. This must flow back into the area of personality. Only then it can be called communication. Thus real communication with man and love of man centers in our thought-world. The results may be external and the expression is external, but the love is internal. The same is true in our love for God. The result can be external, but love itself is always internal. If Christians can only learn this, very many problems concerning the Christian life would assume a different perspective. Let us understand how important is the world of thoughts. It is this that distinguishes me as a man, in contrast to machines. This is what I am, and my calling is to love God with all my heart and soul and mind.
The real battle for men is in the world of ideas, rather than in that which is outward. All heresy, for example, begins in the world of ideas. Ideas are the stock of the thought-world, and from the ideas burst forth all the external things; painting, music, buildings, the love and the hating of men in practice, and equally the results of loving God or rebellion against God, in the external world. Where a man will spend eternity depends on his reading or hearing the ideas, the propositional truth, the facts of the gospel in the external world, and these being carried through the medium of his body into the inner world of his thoughts, and there, inside himself, in his thought-world, either his believing God on the basis of the content of the gospel or his calling God a liar. This is not merely a mystical, existentialist experience. It is not the ‘final experience’ of a man like Carl Jaspers put in religious terms; it is not the hallucinatory drug experience, without content. It can be expressed rationally. It is ideas; it is content of the good news. But as far as what it means to man is concerned, it is whether he accepts it or rejects it in the thought-world that makes the difference: if he believes God, or if he calls him a liar.
Christian life, true spirituality, always begins inside, in our thought-world. All that has been said in our earlier study of being free in the present life from the results of the bonds of sin is meaningless jargon, no more than a psychological pill, without the reality that God thinks and we think, and that at each step the internal is central and first. The spiritual battle, the loss of victory, is always in the thought-world.
And this is why God inspired the Apostle Paul to write and say to us: I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2 ESV (end of this chapter)
Thoughts developed or used directly from the work of Schaeffer, Francis. True Spirituality . Tyndale House Publishers, Inc