While watching TV, you have noticed that you pick up on something you have seen or heard, and your thoughts become more sexual. You have also noticed how attractive that other person at the office is, and you have begun imagining… You are taken by surprise because missionaries like you are so deeply committed to Christ. You are on the frontlines of spiritual battles, taking Christ to people who have never heard. Such missionaries certainly would not get into sexual sin, would they?
Of course, they would. For centuries military personnel in any conflict have been notorious for their sexual immorality. Engaged in physical/ideological battles in strange cultures far from family, friends, community, and church, they engage in sexual exploits. Why would you expect any less temptation for you, as you engage in the spiritual battles against the forces of evil? You are lonely. With social support absent, emotional needs unmet, and living in a strange culture with greater sexual freedom than at home, why would Satan not take advantage of you as well?
Most missionaries can quote 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” “Seized” is the proper word because sexual temptation can become so strong that a person is willing to give up everything—relationships with God, spouse, and family; reputation, ministry, everything. Before quoting the verse above and thinking you are surely safe, read the verse before it, “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” (1 Corinthians 10: 11-12)