Just because you surrender your life to serve the Lord at home or abroad, doesn’t mean you won’t struggle with sexual sins. As a matter of fact, and from my experience as well, it is because you surrender your life to serve the Lord that Satan seeks to attack you in this area.
We are not only in a spiritual battle for the souls of men but for our own sexual purity and integrity.
I have served in cross-cultural ministry as both a single and married woman, and I’m here to tell you that our marital status doesn’t matter to the evil one. Just as he works to attack our marriage, faith, and family, he’s working to plant seeds in our minds and hearts that cause us to morally stray as well. When he effectively attacks us in the area of sexual sin, all the other areas of our life and faith are put at risk as well, so our first defense in this battle is to be aware of the danger.
Sexual immorality or developing a relationship with a national is one of the quickest ways for a worker to be sent home, and Satan knows it!
As I’ve written in my books and other posts, this is the main reason I’m a strong proponent of reaching and discipling those of your same sex. There is nothing that seems more innocent than a man to feel needed by a woman seeking spiritual counseling, and yet, when doors are closed and feelings revealed, it’s also the easiest way for a man to be tempted. For a woman to witness to a man, because she thinks God has put him in her path, is an open door to miscommunication and deceptive feelings.
While it’s hard to keep this rule one hundred percent of the time, we need to make every effort possible to pass prospects of the opposite sex off to other mature believers who can better speak into their lives and disciple them more effectively.
If we know what Satan knows, then why would we risk having our ministry cut short by starting a relationship with a national?
Keep an accountability partner close at hand.
When you feel uncertain about a man or woman you’ve recently met, reach out to a mature believer to pray for you about it. We serve a God of clarity, and the first red flag that something is amiss, and Satan is at work, is confusion. Feelings are pros at clouding our mind, and that is a good sign to step back, get into the Word, and pray. If we do it alone, we have the habit of talking ourselves out of it. You know the line: “Oh, everything is fine. He’s just a nice guy and really interested in the gospel. I’m sure he knows where I stand and will respect me.”
Jeremiah 17:9 reminds us: The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable—who can understand it?
That’s why we must keep accountable—make sure you’ve got someone on your team who will ask the hard questions and speak the truth of God’s Word into your life.
Watch for the red flags of sliding into sin.
Just like the fog of emotions, there are several other red flags that should trigger our minds and hearts to go running to the Lord:
- Sneaking around
- Hiding things from people
- Irritability at questions about your behavior or actions
- Increased texting or calls between you and the other person.
Know your danger zones
Whether married or single, we all have areas of weakness when it comes to sex. Write them down and make a plan on how you will avoid them. Gather scriptures that can become your go-to verses for talking Satan down as you see or hear something that may lead to temptation. Keep these areas a matter of consistent prayer and share them with your accountability partner or even with your spouse for support.
Remember you are not alone.
No temptation has come upon you except what is common to humanity. But God is faithful; he will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to bear it.1 Corinthians 10:13
Not only does Jesus understand our weaknesses and the temptations Satan loves to throw our way, but many others do as well. Learn from those who have been in service for years. Ask them about their struggles and gain from their wisdom on how to stand against sexual attacks.
Finally, know that the real battle has already been won! Though we may stumble and fall, Christ has already won for us the victory. Our failings will not take away our eternity with him. We also can be victorious knowing that “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1: John 4:4
Stand strong by His…
Grace and Peace