8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God (Romans 8).
In the verses before we saw how the flesh could not fulfill the Law and so walk in God’s ways, which this verse says is the only way to please Him. Nothing outside of obedience to God will ever bring a smile to His face. He does not see mankind as cute little curmudgeons to hug and kiss, but as rebels and sinners to put on the cross with His Son.
8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light 9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord (Ephesians 5).
The Christian life is all about our attempts to bring a smile to God’s face, doing what we we created to do. Nothing should give us more joy than doing that. In the movie Chariots of Fire, my favorite scene is where the hero of the film tells his sister: “God made me for a purpose — China — but He also made me fast! And when I run, I feel His pleasure.”
Lord, what an amazing thing — that we can actually make You, a holy and righteous God, actually smile and beam with emotion! May that happen many, many times This Day, as we seek to run the race You have for us, living according to Your ways and fulfilling all Your purposes for us. Amen.