Yesterday I listed 10 Revival Characteristics from John Peters book, 'The Story of Toronto.' Here is another of his lists which highlights some of the key qualities of the Arnotts. These simple, key factors may go some way to explaining the development of the Toronto Blessing.
1/ They place a high value on the teaching of the scriptures. Peters argues that the Arnotts exhibit a quality of character which exalts Jesus. Essentially, they are the same in private as they are in public.
2/ They have a clear understanding of salvation. Expecting salvation to be worked out in daily life in a practical & demonstrable sense.
3/ Both are products of brokenness, devastated by the experience of divorce from their first partners, stripped of pride & self confidence. Frank Damazio comments, 'Anything that is broken is deemed by man to be unfit, & he ends up throwing it away. But to God, only that which is broken is useful....So the vessels of God are ready for revival only when they are broken. God's vessels, the ones He uses, are broken vessels.'
4/ They have a strong marriage, operating out of a relationship which is devoid of striving or competitiveness, now able to trust one in a way they thought they would never trust a partner again. In their calling, Carol is no adjunct to John's ministry, they serve together.
5/ They are keen to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit, & go after where He leads tenaciously.
6/ They maintain a disciplined lifestyle of reading the scriptures & prayer. Before the outbreak of the Toronto Blessing, they had devoted their mornings for the previous 18 months to worship, prayer & study together.
7/ They take absolutely seriously the question of Forgiveness. Frequently referring to Isaiah 61.1, they believe the Lord has come to set captives free, that prison doors are opened when forgiveness is given a free reign. This too is rootetd in their experience of broken marriages, unforgiveness, bitterness & judgements.
8/ They have cultivated some core values which seep into everything. An understanding of the Father's love, the intimacy we can all enjoy with Him, the restoration of the heart, & the equipping of the Holy Spirit for all of life. The acronym FIRE sums them up well.
9/ They have a high view of accountability, first to God, to one another & to their church, but also holding themselves open to advice, to comment, & to other leaders.
10/ They love people. They love their local church, they love those they travel to serve.