I realise the command to “Guard our hearts for from it springs forth the issues of life”. One of the reasons I prefer to live a single life is because I do love this man but I have to reveal the fact that he is a muslim convert, unvoluntarily, for the father brought his whole family (he was in his teens then, having no rights to resist) into the Islam faith. Furthermore, this man has a lot of spiritual baggage during his college days, with him still practising TM and was a professing Existentialist ( though not sure now). A lot of dabbling into other Eastern mysticisms. I took to praying for this person for the next 11 years. It was only lately that there was a thin streak of light came forth. He would from his side read as I go through my Quiet Time, and other devotionals and Bible Reading. Recently he gt to follow as I went through Pastor Peter Tan Chi’s sermons and talks all online. He is slowly easing in a bit but still baulks every now and then. I am pragmatic enough to comprehend the tough spiritual struggles he still faces. He still couldnt let go of his past dabblings into the spiritual realm and my heart goes out to him. He is a leader in his field and well known to be an intellectual with a strong philosophical bend, a public leader.
I can only promise I would stay by his side in spirit earnestly exhorting him, helping him draw near to the Lord. I believe in being Spirit-filled and this has strengthened me many times as I talk to my Lord of him and his struggles. As far as I see it, I dont see much of an “obstacle” in the way of my “fast” like you mentioned. God is real and almost palpable if I may say it in humbleness.
I humbly think some folks think “restraint” is such a tough thing to grapple with. I tend to think it is quite a myth. Coming from me, I think we do not need to feel like we are being dragged along by my noses, haplessly. I stay close to my Jesus and I dedicate much of my fruitful time being the Pet-Person Portrait artist that I am. Much as I love this man chastely, I dont feel the tension that comes from the “obstacle” in my “fast”. Nor having a low-grade misery in the least but joyful in my spirit often (despite chaotic times in HK, pray for us).
Praise and thanks to Him, my beloved Jesus, for His awesome grace and mercies!
Appreciate your gracious answer, timotto!