Extract from To God be the Glory, by Keith & Pauline Evans. Buy this book from Victory in Christ Ministries in Enfield, North London
My testimony is all about God’s great love, mercy, grace and patience with a lost soul.
Two months later, walking up the church aisle to practice the organ and I heard, “Keith, there is more!” I looked around to see who has spoken – I was alone. God had spoken to me directly by His Holy Spirit. Sadly through 32 years of church life there had been no teaching on, or mention of, the Holy Spirit. Not knowing any better, I said to myself, “How much more can there be, I’m on the P.C.C., the R.D.C., the mission committee and I’m the organist and choirmaster!” (Even writing it years later, I cringe) How arrogant and ignorant was I?
God, over the next two years, kept calling me. Every two months, on my own in church as I walked up the aisle to practice I’d hear, “Keith, there is more” and “Keith, I have more for you.” After the fourth time God reminded me of that arrow prayer, ‘God – there must be more.’ I’d worked out by this time that this was God’s Holy Spirit at work but because of the lack of teaching I was both scared and isolated, so said nothing to anyone.
Over the next 18 months I was to lose my best man to cancer at 37 and my mother in law, also to cancer, at 57. In their last months of life I could see, in their eyes, they had the ‘more’ that God was calling me to. I was determined to seek this for myself. On the first Saturday of November of the second year I had been given an invite to an Anglican Renewal Day, I knew but I knew I had to go for there I would find the ‘more’ God was calling me to, so off I went. It was to be a day of firsts!
I’d been a churchman for 34 years and I was seeing hands raised in praise and worship for the first time. The songs were all new to me (I’d only been used to hymns Ancient & Modern). I liked what I was hearing, fresh and heart-warming. The leader got up to pray. He asked us to remain standing, close our eyes and hold our hands out to receive – another first. The moment he started to pray I pictured him with a red telephone and a cable going up through the ceiling and clouds, directly to a second red phone in God’s hand. I had been used to prayers read from a book. I had never heard prayers prayed from the heart – yet another first. I thought, “Wow! This guy really knows who he’s talking to.” The prayer continued and became more personal, “Those who have come today and want to know Jesus more fully in their lives, put your hand up.” Well, this was it, this was why I had come. “No turning back now, Evans”, I said to myself and up went my hand.
A member of the ministry team was immediately at my shoulder (I wondered if I had a big sign over my head – ‘ripe for harvest!’) This was to be a day of firsts. First the raised hands, the new songs, the red telephone, the open hands – now tongues. I knew this was one of the spiritual gifts, and it sounded angelic. As the person prayed over me in tongues – Peace, peace that the world cannot give – this Godly peace flowed in waves through my body from head to feet, wave after wave after wave – then, to my horror sobs and tears. I sobbed for about 20 minutes while wave after wave of God’s peace cleansed and renewed me.