We usually take St. Paul as our role model for change, but even for him change wasn’t a piece of cake. He wrestled with change to the extent that people who don’t know him and read his words would call him schizophrenic. See what he says:
“For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do … it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me … For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.” (Romans 7:14-20)
St. Paul described how he desired to change, but could not always do what he wanted to do because the old sinful nature kept interfering. He, too, experienced the fight; he was not different from the rest of us who are willing to change or perhaps experience a change in nature yet still struggle with the old, fleshly habits.
But guess what, the struggle with temptation and with our sinful nature is actually our way to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. Amma Theodora said, “Let us strive to enter by the narrow gate. Just as the trees, if they have not stood before the winter’s storms cannot bear fruit, so it is with us; this present age is a storm and it is only through many trials and temptations that we can obtain an inheritance in the Kingdom of Heaven.” Abba Anthony concurred with Amma Theodora; he said “Whoever has not experienced temptation cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.” He even added, “Without temptations no-one can be saved.”
Don’t expect that the fight between the old nature and the new nature will end soon. Your whole life you will experience this fight, but pray that God would give you victory over each round.
“Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57)