This clip is from a session of YTHX19, our summer youth experience, where Pastor Steven spoke to the high school students of Elevation Church.

what’s your way of escape when you feel
trapped or really lonely or scared like

we all do and I know nobody sees how
scared you really get sometimes or just

how weird you feel or how much you worry
about things nobody sees it what’s your

way of escape usually what the devil
will do at a youthful point in your life

is to present for you kind of like a
tunnel can you picture this that when

the pressure gets bad for you or when
you feel alone or when you feel

worthless or when you feel too fat or
too skinny or when you feel excluded

or when people call you this or people
call you that or people call you gay or

people call you poor or people say
things about you that really wound you

in a way and they they push against you
in a way it’s too much to take and so

you’re gonna find a way out a way of
escape really the whole Bible is about

escape because in the beginning God made
us in His image and according to his

likeness and he raised up a people for
himself that’s what the nation of Israel

was it was God’s people and at one point
in their history they had to go to Egypt

to avoid a famine they were hungry so
they had to go to a strange land to get

food and when they first got there
everything was okay because they had a

representative in the land named Joseph
but when Joseph died things changed and

this is what I want you to get the place
that they escaped to became the place

that they were enslaved in over the
course of several decades they started

to be treated differently by the
Egyptians and when they first got there

it was a place where they could survive
you know how you figure out ways to

survive when you’re in high school you
figure out what to wear so you can

survive in high school you figure out
how to not be too nice because if

people see you being too nice they’ll
think you’re soft

or you figure out who not to be nice to
because if you’re nice to the wrong

people it will cost the people whose
acceptance you desire to go away from

you so in order to get the acceptance
from the people that you need because

you don’t really know who you are yet
you’ll put brand names on you and you’re

wearing somebody else’s name but you
don’t even know your identity now that’s

fine that’s honestly fine because I’m
wearing some J’s tonight I’m not saying

that there’s anything wrong with any of
it but the pattern is that sometimes

what we escape to becomes later what we
are enslaved by and I bet that’s

happening in some of our lives tonight
and God told me if I would sit on the

stool and talk to you like this and not
have to put a lot of points on the

screen we don’t need any special effects
for this message God said that if I

would talk to you just like this that
there would be several hundred of you

sitting in this room who would discover
the key to your freedom in your life for

the next year and the experience would
be real a real experience in the

presence of God tonight tonight when
Paul gets ready to tell the church at

Corinth that no temptation has overtaken
you I could almost hear you talking to

me like ey Pastor Steven we love you and
all but it’s been a minute since you

were 14 it’s been a minute since you
were 16 so you can kind of preach to us

all you want about what we should and
shouldn’t do and we’re gonna listen to

you politely cuz we really do love you
Pastor but and so I praying about it I

was like God are the temptations really
the same for these kids as they were for

me because you know there wasn’t vaping
when I was

sixteen years old if you were gonna
smoke you had to smell like it and then

sneak the clothes around your parents
and there was a whole different system of

escape and I’m not trying to be funny
I’m really trying to speak to you like

you’re mature I mentioned earlier about
pornography it wasn’t next to your Bible

app when I was 16 and that kind of makes
me feel like like it’s a challenge to

talk to you tonight because I was
thinking like well the temptations

aren’t the same and God said they are
only the access has changed it’s the

same temptations that it was in 1
John 2:15 where he lists three

temptations there’s only three there’s
only three temptations that any of us

will ever face it’s the lust of the

it’s the lust of the eyes and it’s the
pride of life that’s it not a very long

list but everything you will struggle
with that will try to bring you to your

lower self everything that you’ll
struggle with it’ll try to keep you from

praying praising God being kind living
open standing out being unique having

conviction having courage everything
that will drive you away from that kind

of life will fall into these three
categories lust of the flesh that’s what

I feel like doing lust of the eyes
that’s what I see on the surface but I

don’t know what it really is and the
pride of life which is me thinking that

I don’t need God or anybody else to tell
me how to live my life

that’s the only three it’s the only
three that Jesus faced the Bible says

that Jesus was tempted in every way like
me and you and I thought well that’s not

true Jesus couldn’t be tempted to road

donkey rage it was different vehicles
but but yet when he went into the

wilderness I don’t know if you’ve ever
read this put this down for something to

look at later maybe maybe in your group
tonight if you have time you probably

won’t because I feel like talking for a
few more minutes but if you get a chance

to talk about this or look at it when
you get home Matthew 4:1-11

can we just look at verse 1
real quick just verse 1 it’s the only one

I want to look at it said then Jesus was
led up by the spirit into the wilderness

to be tempted by the devil he went into
the wilderness because he had to because

centuries earlier
that’s where God’s people were tempted

in the wilderness which is what Paul
references in 1 Corinthians 10 he says

in 1 Corinthians 10:5 give it to me on
the lower thirds watch this verse y’all he

says in 1 Corinthians 10 verse 5 that
most of them that came out of Egypt when

God led them out under Moses this is
hundreds of years before Jesus now but

he’s using it as an example he’s saying
nothing’s changed it’s the same

temptations to complain it’s the same
temptations to rebel it’s the same

temptations to isolate and pretend put
it back up I didn’t finish it yet it

said nevertheless with most of them God
gave them a way out of Egypt but with

most of them God was not pleased for
they were overthrown in the wilderness

what a phrase they came out of Egypt
they came this might be like you came to

church you came to YTHX you call
yourself a Christian you’re like yeah I

believe in God I’m good I totally
believe in God I have faith and I want

to be a good person they came out of
Egypt but they were overthrown in the

wilderness they were overthrown in the
place that was in between Egypt and the

promised land that God was taking them
to you are in a season of your life

right now at age 14 15 16 17 18 this
season of your life right now is like a

it’s a place where you have to learn how

to survive it’s a place where you have
to learn how to make it from day to day

it’s a place where you’re becoming who
you are and you know who you are in some

ways but you’re still figuring it out in
other ways it’s a place where you’re

having to wrestle with emotions that you
don’t have a lot of context for it’s a

place where where day and night you wake
up and you wonder am I enough for this

day am I enough do I have what it
takes to be who I need to be and the

world is no help because the world is
constantly telling you you know you need

this and you must have that and until
you’ve reached this level and unless

you’re in with this and so it’s all of
these voices in the wilderness that you

have to learn to deal with and so the
devil came to Jesus in the wilderness

because this was like this was like a
rematch because in the wilderness in the

Old Testament the people of God were
overthrown in the wilderness but Jesus

came to fight the battle that you
couldn’t win Jesus came to defeat the

devil that had you on the ropes and how
many know tonight that that same Savior

is still fighting for you right where
you are

so tell the person next to you it’s only
three temptations it’s only three

there’s only three these three lust of the
flesh lust of the eyes pride of life

the devil came to Jesus he said hey I know
you’re hungry so I’ll tell you what to do

turn these stones into bread coz you’re
hungry and if the devil can find you

when you’re hungry

he’ll try to get you to turn something
into something that it’s not supposed to

be because I’m hungry I’m hungry
when you’re hungry you’ll take

compliments from people and do things to
impress them but their compliments are

empty because if they like you for
something that’s cosmetic it shows that

they are a shallow person and their
validation is void

I just wanted to talk to you like a brother in
Christ tonight because if somebody could

tell you that you’ll stop trying to turn
things into something that they can’t be

the lust of the flesh I’m hungry I feel
I need I feel and when you do it you

start finding ways to meet those needs
you start trying to meet your need for

love through sex here’s why that’s
dangerous because it’ll work for a while

sex will feel just like love just like
love and it’ll give you a release and

you don’t have to feel guilty or
shameful about it we all struggle

everybody in this room has struggled at
some level so please don’t get at this

point like guilty if you’ve got
something in your life that you feel

like you need to hide you are totally
welcome in this room I’m not gonna beat

you up over anything we’ve done tonight
the grace of God is enough for all of us

but the only issue is if you escape your
loneliness through sex then eventually

you will be a slave to what you escaped
with they went to Egypt because they

were hungry they got to Egypt and it was
fine for a while they had quail in Egypt

fried quail it’s very very very big
delicacy for them in that time and don’t

don’t think if the devil sets the table
it won’t taste good it’ll taste amazing

I’m telling you the benefit
temptation is tantalizing it’s very it’s

very it’s very good and I’m not just
talking about sex like there’s all kinds

of temptations it’s the same temptations
today but it’s just a different access

point it’s just a different vehicle it
was it was one vehicle for me it’s gonna

be another vehicle for you but the
temptation is I feel trapped I need a

way out so I’m looking for something
that’s why a lot of us are more addicted

to our phones then you could ever be
addicted to cocaine because it just

gives us a way out you ever just been
scrolling looking at stuff that you

weren’t even paying attention
you were just hypnotized it was like

just a way of escape just like I just
don’t want to be here right now and

here’s the problem with it if you
always train yourself to just not be

here right now just whatever I’m doing
I’m gonna be somewhere else there may be

a time where you find yourself I can’t
even pay attention anymore I can’t be

present right now and I’m not telling
you not to use your phone I’m not

ridiculous and archaic enough to say
something like that I am saying that

anything that you use to escape be
careful and make sure that it doesn’t

enslave you
like here’s another way to say it I prayed

about a bunch of ways to say it
don’t let the tunnel that you use to get

out become a trap that keeps you in
underground and a lot of the things that

that look like a way of escape it looks
like you know if I could be popular well

the hard thing about being popular if
it’s not really you that is popular but

just a version of you that you made up
that you think people will accept the

hard thing about that is now you feel
like an actor now you feel like you’re

just always on on stage and kind of
always waiting for people to see through

is that really you he said that Jesus
went into the wilderness and the devil

said hey I’m gonna get you just like I
got Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and

the descendants of Moses turned the
stones into bread Jesus said it is

written man shall not live off of bread
alone but every word that proceeds from

the mouth of God the devil said alright this is
gonna be tough I didn’t get him with the

lust of the flesh let me try the lust of
the eyes took him up on a high mountain

right he shows them all the kingdoms of
this world and Satan the accuser this is

not like a physical force by the way
it’s that little voice in your head it’s

not like you see the devil or something
like that that’s not that’s not what

it’s talking about here Jesus didn’t
physically change locations it’s like

sometimes in your mind you feel and see
temptations and it’s not it’s not a

physical thing sometimes sometimes it’s
a desire inside of you have you ever

felt this before and it’s like something
that’s that’s going on in your mind and

you’re like oh man I don’t know why I
feel pulled to this and so the devil

showed him he said if you’ll bow down
and worship me I’ll give you all this

because see Jesus came as a king but his
kingdom was not of this world and so the

devil was trying to give him what was
already his

this is how Jesus fought the temptation
he said it is written you shall worship

the Lord your God only and him only
shall you serve

away from me Satan then the devil said
and this is a little bit out of sequence

but it said the lust of the flesh
turn the stones into bread the lust of

the eyes you see all this I’ll give it
to you you could have this opportunity

if you do this if you do it my way
if you do it the world’s way you’ll get

this opportunity look how good this
looks look what you could have if you

weren’t over here trying to be a good
little Christian if you weren’t being a

church kid you can have all this and you
could have all that but the one that

really got me was he said throw yourself
off the edge of this cliff and prove

that you’re the son of a God that’s the
pride of life wow

look at me you’ve ever been walking around
like look at me please like this picture

so for just a minute I can feel like I

cause I feel like a nobody I feel like nobody
really sees me I feel invisible if I

could put something out there so now
you’re posting stuff with half your

clothes on just to try to get somebody
look at me look at me look at me but

that’s not that’s not who you really are

problem is if you get them with that you
got to keep on with that and if that’s

not who you really want to be hey thank
you for watching make sure you subscribe

to this channel so you don’t miss a
single video or live stream and share

this video with a friend and don’t
forget you can join me live every Sunday

thanks again for watching