What’s His perspective of work? Is it simply meant to feed us or does it have a higher meaning? Can work and your “calling” be the same thing?
Work is a blessing, it gives us purpose, direction, a sense of accomplishment, and a way of helping others. Work existed before the fall (when sin entered the world), but it became hard after the fall.
Sometimes our jobs are primarily a source of income (God’s provision), but the people we encounter are divinely-ordained. You are a light in the lives of everyone He brings across your path.
Sometimes our jobs are also our calling, when we get paid to do what God has created us to do. That’s not the case with most people. Instead our calling is lived out in who we are, wherever we are, whatever we’re doing. On vacation, at home, at church, at work, at the movies — we be who we’re supposed to be wherever we are. And in this, His purposes for us and through us are accomplished.
Can I desire a raise and promotion at work? Or do I have to find a righteous reason for it in order to ask God for a raise or promotion?
Yes, you can want promotions and raises! And no, you don’t have to find a “righteous” reason. Not that it would matter if you did — God examines and knows our hearts. We can’t hide from Him what we really think or feel.
Wanting more favor, provision, influence — those are fine, if your heart is right. Wanting them so someone else doesn’t get them (jealousy) or because you want what someone else has (coveting) or for evil instead of good isn’t going to get you too far with God…
But it’s fine — good, actually — to want to do more, be more, be better, be rewarded. These are God-given desires. And when God-focused people are in positions of influence, abundance, and authority, the world is a better place.
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will raise you up (exalt you, lift you). James 4:10