"I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling." Rather strange of Paul to say, don't you think?
I was pondering my own work and realized how afraid I get to speak and yet I don't worry about it. I evaluated whether I was naive or dishonest or mistaken. Yet, I perpetually feel the fear of stepping up to the mic each Sunday whether class or sermon; but I'm not worried.
Then I realized the apostle knew such mental gymnastics. He, too, experienced the same.
A secret for Paul (and therefore of us) is he could realize he didn't have the skill to pull off the assignment. Yet, he was most confident in the Spirit of God. Consider his next sentence following his admission of fear and trembling. "And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God."
A mistake I made in my earlier years of teaching/preaching was my awareness of my absolute lack; yet, I tried to compensate by mustering fleshly delivery technique. I didn't trust God's Spirit with the ability to connect my English words with their spiritual ears.
Now I've learned to live with my fear. I've accepted the trembling which doesn't dissipate over time. How? Because I am sure of the Spirit's activity. I am free to be afraid; but I don't have to worry. He will connect the message deliverer to the message receiver.
This is a preaching/teaching secret. Until we get it, we will do our best to make ambitious presentations while those listening will walk away bored....untouched and unmoved.
When I prepare to approach an audience, I plead with God not to leave me up there alone. I beg Him to stand there and say something. I am merely a pipe. He is the supply of life. I may be afraid.....but I'm not worried. He knows how to effectively communicate.