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You'll go through lots of doors in your life. Some of them are incredibly important, like the door you'll open to walk into your first home or the one that leads to your child's classroom on the first day of kindergarten.

But you'll walk through more important doors than those. Recently, I've been studying what the Bible teaches about doors. They are all over the place as metaphors for opportunities that God provides. You'll face many kinds of doors of opportunity in your life—doors to happiness, to abundance and to achievement.

The most important door of all, is the door to freedom. Before you can ever take steps toward where God wants you to go, you'll have to exit the prisons in your life.

You may have never been incarcerated, but you don't have to be behind bars to be in prison. The most significant prisons in life aren't the physical ones. They're the prisons in our minds.

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Pretending to be someone you're not traps you in a prison of other people's expectations.

Unforgiveness traps you in a prison of bitter resentment.

Guilt traps you in your own failures.

But here's the good news about those prisons and all of the other ones that haunt you. They have a door—and it's Jesus.

The Bible says, "I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved" (John 10:9a).

Anyone means you. Jesus isn't talking about some generic person getting saved and getting out of these horrible prisons. He's talking about you. He's talking about you getting out of the prisons in your life.

God wants you to be free.

Freedom is a big deal to God. He doesn't want you to live enslaved or imprisoned to anything for a single moment of your life.

It's the very reason God sent Jesus to earth. Jesus said, "The Lord has sent me to announce freedom for prisoners" (Luke 4:18b, CEV).

Today, imitation is everywhere. People wear imitation leather and imitation fur. You can buy imitation jewelry or watches and consume imitation flavors.

But the freedom Jesus promises you isn't an imitation and it isn't fake. It's the real deal.

Jesus says, "If the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed" (John 8:36).

You won't be a little free. You won't be partially free. You'll be truly free.

You'll live freely because wherever the Spirit of God is, that's where you'll find freedom.

Galatians 5:13 tells us that we're called to be free. God didn't create us to live behind bars. He called us to and created us for an abundant life, one beyond all we could ever imagine.

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of pastors.com, a global internet community for pastors.

This article originally appeared at pastors.com.

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