Conflict is necessary for Christians to grow. Conflict with God, though minimal, is necessarily involved in the Christian attempt to follow the Spirit. This is because of the ongoing shortfall of Christian perfection in the light of HIS perfection.
Conflict with the flesh is also similar, it is inevitable that the flesh is not completely dead, although it is always capable of being rendered so, in that particular moment, by faith. Also of course the ongoing shortfall situation above is also governed in the immediate moment by faith.
Conflict with the surrounding environment is also inevitable – People who are not bent on listening for the Spirit, will be in opposition to those who are.
Looking at the life of Jesus, he was always in conflict with religious people, and sometimes with “normal” people, and constantly in conflict with all of them from the point of view of being one who was perfect, and trying to bring others to the knowledge of perfection also.
Jesus’ final conflict was with his flesh, having experienced conflict from people and also his own flesh (the “devil”), he now was to enter into conflict with death itself. It began in the garden and ended on the cross, from where he said the words “It is finished”. Flesh and death were redefined.
Paul’s apostolic life was one spent in conflict with all and sundry. He did not have an easy time of it. He was opposed, ridiculed, beaten severely, and finally killed.
The Christian has to find his place in this life, as one who is attempting to do the will of God, to reveal God himself to all, while simultaneously earning a living and raising a family in the world at large. Fraught with difficulty, and filled with challenges to overcome the conflict that appears from all directions.
The conflict on the cross which was “ended” should largely be that which is ended in us also. Overcoming the things that come against us is what establishes the Christian in the reality of the Kingdom. The practicalities of living a life of faith in a faithless world is the whole story of Christian fruitfulness. “Without me you can do nothing” Jesus said. And even with him there can be quite a struggle. But faith conquers all, even as he has already conquered on our behalf. We by faith now acquire the successful results of his conflict for us.
[In this world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have overcome the world]