I had started reading Allan Hirsch's book "The Forgotten Ways."  I don't fully agree with all that he is saying, but it sparked me to study the early church in scripture, particularly looking at the book of Acts. I have read over the first chapter several times and here is what I see the first chapter saying about the early church.

The main point is that the church was to wait for the Holy Spirit. Jesus commanded the believers to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit to come (Acts 1:4). So they did just that, they waited for the Holy Spirit. In Acts 2:1 we see that it was on the day of Pentecost that the Holy Spirit came to the believers. Pentecost is fifty days after Passover. We know that Jesus spent forty days with His disciples before ascending into Heaven. We also know that Jesus rose from the dead three days after dying. This means that from the time Jesus ascended into heaven to the time that the Holy Spirit came upon the Christians is seven days. This is not a short time to wait. Nonetheless, they waited the seven days.

What did they do for the seven days while waiting for the Holy Spirit to come upon them? There are three things they did. The first was that they prayed together (Acts 1:14). We don't know what they prayed about, but it was time that they spent together with God through prayer. Prayer is a vital part of listening to God and communing with God. So the church must also spend time in prayer together while waiting for God to give the church direction.

 The second thing we see the disciples do, while waiting for the Holy Spirit is they consulted the scriptures. Peter stands up before the people and begins to give the believers a lesson in prophecy about Judas (Acts 1:16) He talks about how the scriptures said that another person was to take Judas' office. This leads us to the third thing they did while waiting for the Holy Spirit .

The third thing they did was obeyed the scriptures and acted upon the scriptures. They appoint two men who had been with them throughout Christ's ministry. Then they asked God who His choice was and then cast lots. The lot fell on Matthias and so he became Judas' replacement. It is interesting that they cast lots to see who God was choosing to be the replacement of Judas. The word lot in verse 26 comes from the Greek wordkleros which means an object used in casting or drawing lots, which was either a pebble, or a potsherd, or a bit of wood. It's kind of like two or more people coming together and drawing straws. The person with the shortest straw is the person who is selected. This is where we get the saying, "he got the short end of the stick." This seems odd that the disciples would leave the choosing Judas' replacement by a game of chance. But let us not forget that the disciples did pray and ask God who what to be chosen. Then they left it up to God.

This is the fourth thing we learn, while waiting for the Holy Spirit they left the answer up to God. That is what it all comes down to, leaving the answer to God and letting Him be God.

So we learn that as a church we are to wait on God for His direction. As we wait we are to spend time, substantial time in prayer as a community of believers. We are to search what the scriptures tell us and act in obedience to what it says and then step out of the way so God can do His work.