And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God. And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ. ~ Acts 5:38-42
In Acts 5 the apostles were beaten and rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for the name of Jesus.
Who does that?! Those who have yielded to the hidden work of the Holy Spirit in their hearts.
The apostles did not cry foul that they had been mistreated, but embraced the opposition from their religious counterparts, knowing that it is God who would establish their testimony of Jesus, and if their suffering shame for his name was part of the call, then so be it. This was the hidden work of the Spirit in the lives of the apostles who had no ambition to promote themselves, but only the Lord Jesus who had died and risen again and was now the reigning King at the right hand of God.
Too many are looking for the work of the Spirit on the surface (through the arm of the flesh and uncontrolled manifestations) rather than the hidden work of the Spirit within.
As the Word of God is planted like a seed and grows within the heart changing us from within, even so it is with the work of the Spirit in our lives.
When Jesus was with his disciples he said to them, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he shall guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he shall show you things to come.” ~ John 16:12-13
It was only a short time after this that Peter drew his sword to defend Jesus when Judas led a band of men to take Jesus into custody. Peter did not yet understand the power of the Spirit which Jesus walked in as he willingly journeyed towards the cross.
In due time he would understand.
This same Peter, who had drawn the sword the night Jesus was arrested would later rejoice after being beaten because the Spirit had filled him.
After Pentecost, Peter learned to rely on the power of God which is real, genuine, and authentic. He no longer needed to draw the sword in the arm of the flesh.
The hidden work of the Spirit had taken root in Peter’s life.